Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

What can TRaCK research tell us about the water needs of tropical river ecosystems? Many TRaCK projects generated exciting new information on how tropical ecosystems are structured, including the relative importance of different food sources driving aquatic food webs, patterns of regional biodiversity, hydrological bio-regionalisation and conservation priorities.

TRaCK has created an online resource known as the Northern Environmental Water Tool (NEWT). NEWT brings together all of TRaCK’s research findings about the environmental water requirements of tropical rivers under the ELOHA framework (Ecological Limits of Hydrological Alteration).

For people managing tropical rivers, ELOHA is a useful map of the things that need to be considered throughout the water planning process. Where data or major outcomes from TRaCK research are available, NEWT will provide a more effective and encompassing knowledge base of flow-ecology linkages by making information easily accessible online within relevant steps of the ELOHA process.

Since there is a limited knowledge base available on tropical rivers at the moment and development often outstrips the pace at which thorough scientific assessments can be made, it’s hoped NEWT will give water planners ideas on how to gain a broader understanding of how a river may respond to changes.