A data entry app for Australian stream macroinvertebrates

Sure, this might be a bit niche, but in preparation for the imminent release of a portal for Melbourne Water’s stream macroinvertebrate database, I’ve created a data-entry app for compiling macroinvertebrate assemblage data into a table that is suitable for entry into the database (and suitable for analysis on its…

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A new year, a new server, a resolution of sorts

The desktop box that is urbanstreams.net is getting old. We are in the process of migrating the contents of this site to a more stable and secure location. The move has begun with our apps. Because he who is last will be first, the most recent app is the first…

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Definitive Melbourne stream network now available

It’s been a long time between posts (I’ve been away for much of the year: more on that later). This return to the blog is to announce the completion of the Melbourne Water Stream Network v1.0, now available at tools.thewerg.unimelb.edu.au/mwstr/*. The stream network is a spatial database, comprising a stream…

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A spring raingarden update

I’ve added another entry to my raingarden diary today,  primarily spurred by (an old picture of) the raingarden featuring on the front cover of the current issue of ReNew magazine.  (I see that the issue includes an article by friend of urbanstreams.net, Peter Coombes, on the performance of the rainwater harvesting…

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Avoiding rather than offsetting urban stream biodiversity losses

Biodiversity offsets are a popular policy tool to atone for the damage done by land development. Trouble is, they often don’t achieve their stated aims of ‘offsetting’ the development’s biodiversity losses with conservation gains elsewhere.  The problem is amplified if the animals and plants you are trying to protect live…

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Why we need to keep urban stormwater out of dry rivers

I was asked to give a talk to a meeting at Environmental Justice Australia’s community forum for Rivers of the West last night.  As usual, I banged on about the importance of stormwater retention and harvesting to protect rivers and streams, including in dry areas like the west of Melbourne. …

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How much baseflow should be flowing down any particular stream?

Matt Burns of the WERG has developed a new tool that has joined the urbanstreams.net family.  The Baseflow Estimator can help assess how much water should be flowing down any stream (or drain) across the Melbourne region.  Matt explains…  For undeveloped, unregulated catchments, very little rainfall becomes streamflow. For example…

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Delineating catchment boundaries made easy

One of the central tenets of stream ecology—at least since Noel Hynes’ seminal lecture “The stream and its valley” (Hynes, 1975)—is that the catchment is a primary determinant of the structure and function of its stream. If a stream ecologist or a stream manager is to understand the behaviour of…

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