As of January 2004 is archived under Precision Info

Go To Table of Contents (closed_book.jpg - 9K) Go To: About the National River Health Program

National River Health Program

Go To NRHP Background Information


The published reports from the Urban Subprogram of the National River Health Program have been made available on They are:


Go To Outcomes of the NRHP Urban Sub-Program


Go To A Physical Classification of Australian Estuaries

Go To Assessing the ecological health of estuaries in Australia

Go To Estuarine Eutrophication Models

Go To SEEM (Simple Estuarine Eutrophication Model) User's Manual.

Go To Estuarine Health Assessment Using Benthic Macrofauna

Go To Summary: Australia's near pristine estuaries - assets worth protecting

Decision Support System

Go To Basic Decision Support System for Management of Urban Streams Part A

Go To Basic Decision Support System for Management of Urban Streams Part B Software Manual

Go To Basic Decision Support System for Management of Urban Streams Part C Pilot Studies in Brisbane

Go To Basic Decision Support System for Management of Urban Streams. Part D. Demonstration Game 'Lets Fix Urban Streams'


Go To A Guide to Diatoms as Indicators of Urban Stream Health

Go To Diatom Prediction & Classification System for Urban Streams.

Macroinvertebrates & AUSRIVAS

Go To Sediment Chemistry - Macroinvertebrate Fauna Relationships in Urban Streams

Go To An evaluation of AUSRIVAS models for urban stream assessment


A Preliminary Bibliography from the National River Health Program is also available

Go To NRHP Preliminary Bibliography

NRHP Background Information

The NRHP was established in 1993 to improve the management of Australia's rivers and floodplains for their long-term health and ecological sustainability, through the following goals:

  1. To monitor and assess the health of Australia's rivers.
  2. To enhance the management of river flows, water allocation and water use to ensure the sustainability of river and floodplain ecosystems.
  3. To encourage active management to improve the health of Australia's rivers, based on a sound understanding of the ecological and hydrological processes.
  4. To evaluate the effectiveness of river management actions at a national scale.

Urban streams and estuaries (i.e. those affected by runoff and discharges from urban areas) are an important subset of Australia's waterways. Most are degraded biologically, physically and chemically and therefore require appropriate methods to be developed for health assessment and management. The Urban R&D Sub-program comprised 8 research projects which were developed to meet research priorities for urban streams and estuaries within the goals of the NRHP and to complement existing NRHP projects on non-urban rivers. Research focused on development of standardised methods for assessing the ecological health of urban streams and estuaries which can be linked with data on water and sediment quality. The urban R&D projects commenced in 1996.

The definition of health in urban waterways used was "the ability to support and maintain a balanced, integrative, adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity and functional organisation as comparable as practicable to that of natural habitats of the region".

The eight projects of the Urban Sub-Program were:
Decision support system for management of urban streams Dr John Anderson
Southern Cross University, Lismore
RIVPACS (River InVertebrate Prediction and Classification System) for urban streamsDr Peter Breen
CRC for Freshwater Ecology, Monash
University, Melbourne
DIPACS (Diatom Prediction and Classification System) for urban streamsDr Jacob John
Curtin University, Perth
Sediment chemistry- macroinvertebrate fauna relationships in urban streamsDr Nick O'Connor
Water EcoScience, Melbourne
Classification of estuariesDr Peter Saenger
Southern Cross University,Lismore
Literature review of ecological health assessment in estuariesMr David Deeley
Murdoch University, Perth
Estuarine health assessment using benthic macrofauna
Dr Gary Poore
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
Estuarine eutrophication modelsDr John Parslow
CSIRO Marine Laboratories, Hobart

Go To National River Health Program Main Page

Go To Published with the assistance of the Natural Heritage Trust

Go To Published with the assistance of Environment Australia
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