DEVELOPING SOLUTIONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL-FRIENDLY WATER MANAGEMENT IN PERI-URBAN LANDSCAPES(WESTERN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA)

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Description

Location

Demosite Location
Demosite Location

Sketch

Demosite Location

Information about lithology/geochemistry:

Alluvial soils in the Plain's. Sandstones in the east and around the northern and western fringe and shales also occur from Pitt Town to Kellyville


Main Description

  • The Hawkesbury­Nepean catchment area runs from Lake George in the South, to beyond Lithgow out west, follow the foothills of the Blue Mountains into the Hawkesbury region and pours out to sea at Broken Bay.
  • The South Creek catchment (fig.1) provides water services to its inhabitants and dwellings which are expected to increase respectively by 40% and 25% from 2011 to 2030.
  • The UNU Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (Greater Western Sydney) has research groups focused on the studies of the site.

Conserve Ecohydrological processes in natural ecosystem

NO

Enhance ecohydrological processes in novel ecosystem

YES

Apply complementary Ecohydrological processes in high impacted system

YES


This table presents the different categories of ecosystem services that ecosystem can provide, divided in:

Provisioning Services are ecosystem services that describe the material or energy outputs from ecosystems. They include food, water and other resources.

Food: Ecosystems provide the conditions for growing food. Food comes principally from managed agro-ecosystems but marine and freshwater systems or forests also provide food for human consumption. Wild foods from forests are often underestimated.


Fresh water: Ecosystems play a vital role in the global hydrological cycle, as they regulate the flow and purification of water. Vegetation and forests influence the quantity of water available locally.

Regulating Services are the services that ecosystems provide by acting as regulators eg. regulating the quality of air and soil or by providing flood and disease control.

Local climate and air quality: Trees provide shade whilst forests influence rainfall and water availability both locally and regionally. Trees or other plants also play an important role in regulating air quality by removing pollutants from the atmosphere.


Waste-water treatment: Ecosystems such as wetlands filter both human and animal waste and act as a natural buffer to the surrounding environment. Through the biological activity of microorganisms in the soil, most waste is broken down. Thereby pathogens (disease causing microbes) are eliminated, and the level of nutrients and pollution is reduced.

Ecosystem services "that are necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services". These include services such as nutrient recycling, primary production and soil formation.
Cultural Services corresponds nonmaterial benefits people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experiences.

Recreation and mental and physical health: Walking and playing sports in green space is not only a good form of physical exercise but also lets people relax. The role that green space plays in maintaining mental and physical health is increasingly being recognized, despite difficulties of measurement.


Tourism: Ecosystems and biodiversity play an important role for many kinds of tourism which in turn provides considerable economic benefits and is a vital source of income for many countries. In 2008 global earnings from tourism summed up to US$ 944 billion. Cultural and eco-tourism can also educate people about the importance of biological diversity.


Aesthetic appreciation and inspiration for culture, art and design: Language, knowledge and the natural environment have been intimately related throughout human history. Biodiversity, ecosystems and natural landscapes have been the source of inspiration for much of our art, culture and increasingly for science.


Spiritual experience and sense of place: In many parts of the world natural features such as specific forests, caves or mountains are considered sacred or have a religious meaning. Nature is a common element of all major religions and traditional knowledge, and associated custos are important for creating a sense of belonging.

Lifezones

Demosite Location
Life zone
Warm Temperate
Dry forest

Precipitation
PPT(mm/yr): 800.0

Temperature
T(ºc): 17.0

Elevation of demosite: 10.0 meters above sea level
Humidity: Sub-Humid
PETr (by year): 1.25

EH Principles

Quantification of the hydrological processes at catchment scale and mapping the impacts

Ecological engineering (integration, dual regulation and biotechnologies in catchment scale for enhancement of ecological potential)

ECOHYDROLOGY ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS

Water reuse and conservation using rainwater harvesting system in urban and peri-urban

Ecohydrological Infrastructure

Estimation of water allocation, stream flows, stormwater runoff through the hydrological model

Hydrological Flow

The pollution removal performance of stormwater bioretention units built to protect river health

Ecohydrological Infrastructure

Major Issues

  • Growing population.
  • Land use change due to peri-urban activities (fig.2).
  • Run-off of pesticides and fertilizers from agricultural fields.
  • Loss of riparian vegetation.
  • Droughts.

Social ecohydrological system

EH Objectives

Water:
Biodiversity
Services
Resilience

EH Methodology

  • Spatial and temporal monitoring of river health and landscape parameters.

  • Work with municipal councils, community groups and government agencies and other stakeholders.

  • Develop tools and local knowledge to assist policy makers.

Catchment Ecohydrological sub-system

Objectives

  • Evaluate the effects of land use changes and urbanization on water quality and microclimate.

  • Monitor ecohydrological changes in the catchment.

  • Develop and apply tools and new technologies to improve liveability of local urban areas.

  • Stakeholders

  • Researchers.

  • Sydney Periurban Council Network.

  • Fishing and Oyster industries.

  • NSW Office of the Water.

  • Environmental Protection Authority.

  • Local Land Services.

  • Earthcare Centre.

  • Catchment Sociological sub-system

    Activities

    • Setting-up the WISER project (Water and Irrigation Strategy Enhancement through Regional Partnership in Western Sydney).

    • Assessment of the current water practices and policies to define new ones which will meet the growing water demand in peri-urban areas.

    • Monitoring ecohydrological parameters to assist decison makers.

    • Development of Water Sensitive Urban Design guidelines.

    Expected Outcomes

    • To assess the hydrological and economic impacts of changing water allocations and to maintain river health in the peri-urban area.


    Latest Results

    • Nine key variables of river water quality that define river health have been identified using multivariate analysis variables and data collected over 30 years (U. Pinto and B. Maheshwari, 2011). A framework has been developed for assessing river health in peri-urban landscapes (U. Pinto and B. Maheshwari, 2014).

    • Defining concept of river health from a range of perspectives (U. Pinto et al, 2012).

    • A simple model has been developed to predict river health with minimum number of measurements (U. Pinto et al, 2013).

    Contacts

    Professor Basant Maheshwari

    • b.maheshwari@westernsydney.edu.au
    • http://www.uws.edu.au/
    • Western Sydney University

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