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Rivers in many agriculturally significant areas of Australia could lose water as the landscape grows greener. Kerry Raymond/Wikimedia Commons

River flows drop as carbon dioxide creates thirstier plants

Rising carbon dioxide levels are making plants grow faster, sucking up more water and reducing river flows in many agriculturally important areas of Australia, according to new research.
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.
A flood plume containing sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef from Bundaberg. AAP Image/James Cook University

Cloudy issue: we need to fix the Barrier Reef’s murky waters

Successive plans to curb the sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing into the waters around the Great Barrier Reef have fallen short, leaving the corals that call the reef home highly vulnerable.
The diverse rivers of Northern Australia, flat and expansive, support diverse species and are linked by unregulated Wet season flows. Andrew Campbell

Dam it all? River futures in northern Australia

Northern futures, northern voices: It seems everyone has ideas about how Australia’s north could be better, but most of those ideas come from the south. In this six-part weekly series, developed by the…
Euastacus dharawalus is the most critical of the spiny crayfish group. Jason Coughran

Australian endangered species: Spiny Crayfish

You may be familiar with some of Australia’s more iconic spiny crayfish, such as the giant Murray River crayfish, Euastacus armatus, but there is an untold diversity within this endemic Australian genus…
Liquid politics: fights over water will heat up unless its management is democratised. Flickr/Kyle Horner

Challenge 2: Water; a local resource, a global problem

Welcome to the State of the Future series. This series addresses 15 global challenges posed by the Millennium Project, an international non-profit think-tank collecting responses for 40 nodes worldwide…
Newman’s campaign promises were key to endorsements from some Indigenous organisations, but there has since been little action. AAP

Whatever happened to Queensland’s Wild Rivers controversy?

As I wrote in March, whether the Wild Rivers Act was repealed or prolonged in the wake of the Queensland election, underlying issues concerning the future and politics of Cape York Peninsula would persist…
Tug of water: the Murray-Darling Basin is fraught with competing interests. AAP/Lukas Coch

Murray-Darling authority’s revised plan: expert reactions

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) today released a revised plan that recommends cutting the volume of groundwater…
Given our neo-Platonic visions of universal ecologies, when it comes to restoring waterways we’re up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Flickr/Annadriel

Science’s stagnant thinking: our rivers need a revolution

I’ve been away in the UK for a few years – and what do I find when I come back? In the Murray Darling we are still arguing over inputs (the amount of water to be returned to the river) instead of focusing…
The East African Rift holds evidence of a continent under strain. dearanxiety/Flickr

Splitting Africa: what happens when a continent breaks apart?

Modern-day Africa was the keystone of Gondwana, the aggregated mass of southern continents that co-existed for nearly 400m years. That supercontinent has since split apart, creating the land masses we…

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