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Inland waters: rivers, wetlands and estuaries

New Publication: Inland waters: rivers, wetlands and estuaries

Australia’s inland waters support globally significant biodiversity and are vitally important for agriculture, industry and communities. Yet everything we do in and around water catchments can impact and potentially degrade wetlands and the flora and fauna that rely on water flows. To conserve the environment, we need to prioritise conserving inland waters: they are home to the greatest number of threatened species and ecological communities (per unit area) and provide us with access to freshwater, which is fundamental to our survival.

How we manage and govern this precious resource is critical. It is also complex, and every person, industry and government in a water catchment has a role to play in sound stewardship. According to the Australia State of the Environment 2016 report, current inland water management approaches are having some success, however, some promising government programs have not been effectively implemented while threats to conservation are rapidly evolving. Management approaches must also evolve, including in response to climate change impacts, which are already affecting water volumes and water quality.