Articles on Freshwater

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Spangled perch are one of Australia’s strongly migratory native fish. After storms in January 2015 these fish were actively travelling up a flooded road in outback Northern Territory. Jessica Brown

We can have fish and dams: here’s how

Freshwater fish are declining everywhere, in part thanks to dam-building. But we can have both.
The remote rivers of northern Australia could be home to untold numbers of new and threatened fish. Matthew Le Feuvre

We discovered 20 new fish in northern Australia – now we need to protect them

A score of new fish species discovered recently in northern Australia remind us how little we know about our country.
New Delhi’s Yamuna River, like much of India’s water, is polluted. The world urgently needs low-carbon ways to clean things up. EPA/Harish Tyagi

Let’s make sure that cleaning up the world’s water doesn’t send our climate targets down the gurgler

Much of the world still lacks access to proper sanitation and clean water - an issue that needs urgent action. But without low-carbon technologies, clean water could come at the expense of the climate.
Waterbugs are used for the monitoring of river ecosystem health across the world. Amanda Woodman

How healthy is your river? Ask a waterbug

Around the world, waterbugs are the most widely-used indicator of environmental health and pollution of rivers, lakes and wetlands.
Australia’s north is home to many pristine rivers, but most national parks are focused on land-based conservation. Carole Mackinney/Wikimedia Commons

Why are there no true freshwater protected areas in Australia?

Freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and wetlands are precious. They contain several-times more vertebrate species per unit area than land and ocean environments, and they are more degraded. Protected…
Across California there are plenty of signs of just how dry it’s been, such as here in Topanga Canyon near Los Angeles. wasim muklashy/Flickr via CC BY-NC-SA

California’s severe drought shows why we need to raise the price of water

Last January, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency following projections of severe drought. State bureaucrats and local officials jumped into action and mandated any number of…
Spending on water-saving infrastructure could expose Murray-Darling farmers to debt and drought. Michelle Bartsch/Flickr

The latest Murray-Darling plan could leave farmers high and dry

The federal government’s approach for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has shifted again, and now favours water-saving infrastructure over purchasing water rights. But is it the right move? The new scheme…
Water management in the Murray-Darling may be inadvertently helping the common carp at the expense of native fish. Tom Rayner

Alien fish boom shows difficulty of replenishing Murray-Darling

Wetlands and rivers need water – not least in the case of Australia’s biggest river system, the Murray-Darling Basin, which has been the target of an “environmental watering” plan designed to preserve…
Leckie’s Crayfish is found in a tiny mountain stream in northern New South Wales. Jason Coughran

Australian endangered species: Leckie’s Crayfish

Australia has about 135 species of freshwater crayfish - and we’re still describing more. Case in point are the Cherax group of crayfish, which includes the critically endangered Hairy Marron from Western…
Fracking would exacerbate problems with low water levels in reservoirs. John Giles/PA

Water supplies may struggle to cope with fracking demands

The drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of wells for oil or gas is a well-established technique and requires large quantities of water. During the initial drilling of the well, water is needed…
It’s hard being a tiny snail in a Great Lake. Karen Richards

Australian endangered species: Tasmanian snails and limpets

While you’re worrying about pygmy-possums and hairy-nosed wombats spare a thought for some of Australia’s least known endangered species. Freshwater molluscs - snails, slugs and mussels - are in trouble…

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