Water challenge focus of conference

Monday, 29 November 2004

The challenge of supplying Australia with its water needs will be the major focus of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Australian Society for Limnology (ASL) from November 29 to December 3 at the University of Adelaide.

More than 240 Australian scientists and managers are expected to attend and will also address aquatic ecosystems, one of the most critical natural resource management issues.

Dr Andrew Boulton, from the University of New England in New South Wales and President of the ASL, says Australia has a poor record of managing and using aquatic and wetland resources.

"Problems such as water diversion, pollution, salinisation, streamside vegetation decline, and spread of introduced aquatic species have degraded our inland waters throughout the country," he says.

"And the conference delegates will be keen to help address the water challenge by sharing up-to-date information that focuses on the problems and not just the symptoms."

Dr Boulton also explained limnology is the study of inland waters and includes rivers, creeks, billabongs, ponds, pools, swamps, lakes, salt-lakes and other wetlands.

More than 130 speakers will address a wide array of issues, including the management of salinity, providing flows for the environment, how to improve native fish stocks and community attitudes to, and involvement in, regional catchment water management.

One critical theme is the "Challenges presented by the River Murray". This theme will be given an international perspective by the keynote speaker, Professor Geoff Petts, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham in the U.K. He will draw on recent global advances in research on the interactions between landscape change and the ecology of large rivers.

"The conference provides a great opportunity for interaction between managers, scientists and even social scientists, under the themes of water resources and wetlands," says Dr Peter Gell, from the University of Adelaide's Department of Geographical & Environmental Studies and one of the convenors.

"Here managers will be able to hear of advances in aquatic research. At the same time the research scientists will become aware of the critical research questions that managers need addressing to ensure the best outcomes for our wetland estate."

Convenor Mr Paul McEvoy, of the Australian Water Quality Centre, said the ASL has a long tradition in promoting student contributions.

"There are some outstanding papers to be presented at the meeting and the senior scientists are increasingly impressed in the quality of both the research, and the presentations, by the up and coming limnologists from around Australia," he said.

The Australian Society for Limnology:

The Australian Society for Limnology (ASL) is an Australian-based scientific society whose focus is the study and management of inland waters.

The ASL was established in 1961, and has a current membership of over 650 researchers, managers, engineers, teachers and tertiary level students from all states and territories.

Members have a strong professional interest in inland aquatic issues, including the maintenance of biodiversity, the maintenance and/or restoration of water quality, and the wise use of aquatic resources.

 

Contact Details

Dr Peter Gell
Email: peter.gell@adelaide.edu.au
Senior Lecturer
Geographical & Environmental Studies
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 4774
Mobile: 0427 870 280


Mr Paul McEvoy
Email: paul.mcevoy@sawater.com.au
Business: +61 8 8259 0336
Mobile: 0428 282 207


Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084