Overview       Research       Support Programs       Focus Catchments   



A key challenge for our Centre is to integrate the various multi-disciplinary threads of our research programs, and to realise the holistic view of catchments desired by users.

To show that we are achieving this, our research activities are targeted on five focus catchments, selected to:

  • cover a spectrum of spatial scales and catchment characteristics
  • span the range of issue-based problems confronting catchment managers
  • build upon existing catchment management initiatives at those sites
  • link to research networks outside the bounds of the Centre
  • satisfy the specific interests of each of the participating industry Parties.

Each focus site is managed by a Focus Catchment Coordinator, selected from the industry Parties, to:

  • work with the Communication and Adoption Program and regional groups to ensure two-way information flow
  • assist in the definition of research problems and desired research outcomes
  • facilitate access to data and field sites managed by the industry Parties
  • work with the Program Leaders to ensure integration of our research themes.

The five focus catchments are:

Brisbane River, Qld

The impact of urban stormwater quality on the river and Moreton Bay is a key concern. It is uncertain whether the primary source of pollutants is the urban or the outer-urban areas.

Yarra River, Vic

The impact of urban stormwater quality on the river and Port Phillip Bay is a key concern. Rehabilitation of tributary streams to encourage aquatic life is a priority. Management of upstream storages to optimise water-supply reliability is a major challenge.

Fitzroy River, Qld

This catchment has undergone rapid clearing; high sediment and nutrient loads are a major concern, both in the river and coastal waters. Water allocation for development and for maintaining river health are important catchment issues. A major new dam is proposed for the catchment, raising concern about potential impacts on flow regimes and river health.

Goulburn–Broken River, Vic

This is the ‘food-bowl’ of Victoria, responsible for about $1.5 billion worth of food production each year. Salinity and nutrient management are key issues here, as are afforestation and water allocation under the tradable water-rights system. System yield is affected by land use, losses from channels, and operation for irrigation supply.

Murrumbidgee River, NSW

Dryland salinity in the middle reaches is a major issue, with no sure means of forecasting/managing its impact. Afforestation of large areas of the upper and middle catchment is underway, with unknown consequences for salinity and water security.


Each of the six research programs targets effort on at least two of the five focus catchments, with Program 1 (Predicting Catchment Behaviour) being highly relevant to all five sites. This emphasises the commitment to integrated research across a spectrum of land uses and site conditions.

Brisbane River
Fitzroy River
Goulburn - Broken River
Murrumbidgee River
Yarra River

The CRC for Catchment Hydrology’s
successor is the eWater CRC.

eWater Enquiries:
Building 22-23,
University of Canberra ACT 2601
Phone +61 2 6201 5168
Fax +61 2 6201 5038
Email support@ewater.org.au