The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder’s (CEWH’s) future monitoring, evaluation and research activities within the Murray–Darling Basin.
The current Flow-Monitoring, Evaluation and Research (Flow-MER) Program will conclude in June 2024. TThe CEWH’s future science program (Flow-MER2.0) will commence in July 2024 and builds on the past 10 years of CEWH science projects including the Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project and Environmental Water Knowledge and Research Project.
The Flow-MER2.0 Program Framework has been developed as an early overview of the Program and has been informed by learnings from the previous science projects; Independent scientific evaluation of the Long-Term Intervention Monitoring (LTIM) and the Environmental Water Knowledge and Research (EWKR) projects, consultation with Basin stakeholders, and over ten years of experience in managing environmental water within the Basin.
A key feature of Flow-MER2.0 Program is striving to embed First Nations knowledge and science into the future science program to ensure environmental watering is underpinned by the best available knowledge.
From March to May 2023 an Open Tender was undertaken seeking providers across three service categories to deliver the CEWH’s future Flow-MER Program. The successful lead Providers are:
- Knowledge Exchange: One Basin Cooperative Research Centre (One Basin CRC)
- Basin-scale: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
- Area-Scale (x10 Areas):
- Darling and Warrego River Systems: University of New England
- Border, Barwon and Namoi River Systems: Griffith University
- Lower Balonne River System: University of New South Wales
- Gwydir River System: University of New England
- Macquarie River and Marshes: University of New South Wales
- Lachlan River System: University of Canberra
- Murrumbidgee River System: Charles Sturt University
- Mid-Murray River System: Charles Sturt University
- Goulburn River and Northern Victorian Tributaries: University of Melbourne
- Lower Murray and Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth: University of Adelaide
From October 2023 to June 2024 the CEWH will work collaboratively with our science providers and key partners, to further develop and finalise the program design as outlined below:
- Stage 1:
- Part A: Collaborative development of Program level strategies and documents (October – December 2023),
- Part B: Consultation, collaboration and planning (January – March 2024)
- Part C: Plan development and approval (April – June 2024)
- Stage 2:
- Commence implementation of Flow-MER2.0 (July 2024)
Independent Advisory Group
To help provide advice and review on the future design of Flow-MER2.0 Program, the CEWH has established an Independent Advisory Group with representation across science; communication and engagement; and First Nations.
Flow-MER2.0 Design Principles
The design of Flow-MER2.0 is guided by the following principles:
- Collaboration - creating consultative virtual environments to enable respectful discussions and advice from a range of stakeholders including:
- Government agencies
- Science providers
- Independent Advisory Group
- First Nations scientists
- Build on success - recognising the strengths and limitations of past programs as identified in the recent reviews of Flow-MER, LTIM and EWKR
- Program Purpose - contributing to CEWH legislative reporting requirements and adaptive management of environmental water
- Complementary – aligning with and complementing the Basin Environmental Watering Strategy, CEWH Selected Areas MER and other programs, including jurisdictional activities
- Culturally inclusive – including First Nations people and Indigenous science
- Data management and sharing - enhancing the value and utility of monitoring and research data, through improved data governance, management and sharing
- Communication and engagement - improving the effectiveness and impact of communication and engagement activities both internal and external to the Program
- Innovative and robust - encouraging innovative approaches that are robust and underpinned by scientifically defensible research, monitoring and evaluation
- Impactful - promoting a reporting structure which is impactful, efficient and focussed on clear communication of fit-for-purpose outcomes and guidance to inform legislative reporting and improve water management.
If you would like a copy of the The Flow-MER2.0 Program Framework, please contact CEWOMonitoring@dcceew.gov.au.