Decision support systems (DSS) for assessing environmental flow outcomes on wetland ecosystems

Wetlands are crucial in stabilising and cleaning water resources in the landscape, and supporting extensive food chain and biodiversity.

In the Murray Darling Basin in Australia, river regulation and clearing has led to the destruction and decline of may wetland systems. The Rivers Environmental Restoration Program (RERP) was initiated by the NSW Department of Climate Change and Water (now the Office of Environment and Heritage [OEH]) to stop this decline of wetlands through the purchase of water for the environment, effective management of environmental water and the sustainable management of the wetlands.

The Gwydir Wetlands, Macquarie Marshes and Narran Lakes are ecologically and culturally important wetland systems in inland New South Wales, Australia.

They are key environmental assets in the Murray Darling Basin and so environmental flows have been delivered to the wetlands to maintain and improve wetland vegetation and fauna. As part of the RERP, ANU developed the IBIS decision support system (DSS) to test the possible effects water delivery scenarios on ecological condition of the wetlands.


2008 – 2010


Expert/stakeholder elicitation on system conceptualisation and modelling scope were provided in various workshops, with representation from the following groups:

  • NSW Department of Environment and Heritage
  • NSW Office of Water

Scientific data and modelling were provided by the following groups:

  • NSW Office of Water
  • Griffith University
  • University of New England

Dr Samantha Capon (Griffith University): Sam was responsible for providing ecological data for the Narran Lakes application. She also assisted in ecological model conceptualisation.

Prof Martin Thoms (University of New England): Martin was responsible for providing hydrodynamic data for the Narran Lakes applications.

Updated:  22 August 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School