Department of the Environment and Energy - Australian Government

06/04/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/03/2020 18:28

New Website Reveals Science Behind Environmental Flows

Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
4 June 2020

Basin communities can now access the science behind how and why water is being used to benefit the environment with the launch of a new public website.

'No matter where you live in the Basin, you can look at the Flow-Monitoring Evaluation Research website, or Flow-MER for short, to find out where scientists are monitoring environmental flows near you,' Charles Sturt University Associate Professor Dr Skye Wassens said.

The Flow-MER website brings together the work of independent scientists from some of Australia's leading regional universities and research institutions to collect evidence on how Commonwealth water for the environment is making a difference to the Basin's rivers, wetlands and floodplains.

Monitoring, evaluation and research are central to how Commonwealth water is managed to improve the health of our rivers, which is why Australia's national science agency was commissioned by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to create the Flow-MER website for Basin communities.

'The Flow-MER website is a great step towards improving transparency of our decision making. It offers people a way to engage with the scientists and see for themselves the thinking behind when and where we deliver water for the environment,' Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder Jody Swirepik said.

Through the Flow-MER program, scientists with a range of expertise share the findings of their research with managers of environmental water.

'Flow-MER builds on ten years of robust scientific monitoring and research that underpins our understanding of how plants and animals respond to water for the environment. By keeping decision makers abreast of the latest scientific findings, we can ensure that water for the environment is used in the best way possible to support fish, waterbirds, river habitat and wetlands,' Principal Research Scientist Dr Carmel Pollino said.

More than 120 scientists are working on Flow-MER at sites across the Murray-Darling Basin, often with the involvement of Traditional Owners, local water managers and landholders.

'There are plenty of great photos and some terrific stories about frogs, turtles and other wildlife that we meet when we are out in the field,' Charles Sturt University Associate Professor Dr Skye Wassens said.

The Flow-MER website has been launched today and can be accessed at

  • Flow-MER is the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office's on-ground monitoring, evaluation and research program.
  • Flow-MER provides the critical evidence we need to understand how water for the environment is helping maintain, protect, and restore ecosystems and biodiversity across the Murray-Darling Basin. The program will demonstrate outcomes and inform management of Commonwealth water through to June 2022.
  • Flow-MER integrates and replaces monitoring and research activities under the Long-Term Intervention Monitoring (LTIM) and Environmental Water Knowledge and Research (EWKR) projects.
  • Further information about the use and monitoring of Commonwealth Environmental Water may be found at Monitoring Evaluation and Research Program

Charles Sturt University scientists monitoring fish. Photo: Charles Sturt University