The project purpose was to scope out potential follow–on project(s) by providing an inventory of knowledge and knowledge gaps, on:
A stakeholder workshop was held in early April 2012 with representatives from SA government, catchment authority, indigenous groups, research partners and the Goyder Institute. The workshop consensus was for a project on floodplain processes and their interaction with the river and terrestrial environment. Importantly, the focus should be at the scale of the whole SA River Murray floodplain, and the connectivity along the river. Workshops were also held with key SA government departmental staff in October, November and December 2012, and January, February and March 2013 to discuss the proposed follow-on project. It was agreed that the spatial scale of interest was the floodplain and river channel from the SA border to Wellington. Future linkages to the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth ecosystem were also important. State government priorities were to develop a tool or model at an operational time scale.
The scoping project identified key knowledge gaps related to environmental flows in the lower River Murray in South Australia through workshops and completion of the scoping report. These knowledge gaps are summarised in Section 7 of the scoping report. The proposal identified novel ecological response modelling approaches to predict ecological outcomes where EWRs are only partially met that incorporated antecedent conditions and spatial connectivity in predictions of responses to flow. However, this proposal was not progressed.
The project team and other research partners produced a report entitled ‘Preliminary systems inventory and project scoping River Murray Catchment’. The report summarises expert knowledge of different aspects of environmental flows in the lower River Murray in South Australia: MDB hydrology, river flows, salinity and modelling, Murray–Darling Basin Plan, floodplain overstorey vegetation, aquatic and floodplain understorey, birds and mammals, frogs, fish, micro- and macro-invertebrates, carbon and nutrients, algal blooms, biofilms, drought and salinity, indigenous flows, predictive ecology and options for developing an environmental flow tool.