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Riversymposium abstracts now open

8 April 2014

Riversymposium is inviting oral or session submissions from authors around the world. Abstracts will be reviewed by the International Riversymposium Program Committee and accepted based on criteria including audience appeal and their alignment to the four Riversymposium sub-themes.


Poster presentations are also invited, which provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your innovations and ideas in a simple and concise way. Posters will be displayed in either hard copy format or electronically in the RiverExpo area, and a special session will be held during one of the lunch breaks where authors are invited to discuss their work and answer questions from conference delegates.


Abstract and poster submissions should be submitted online by 30 April 2014.



The Society for the Protection of Prespa is the “Best of the Best” once again!

16 April 2014

The Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) has been honoured by the European Commission for the second time, with a "Best of the Best" Award for its implementation of the LIFE + Information and Communication project 'Fish, Fisheries & European Policy in the Prespa Basin'.


The Prespa Lakes are among the twelve most important wetlands in the Mediterranean because of their rare fish species. This aspect of Prespa is not as well-known as the rich birdlife for which Prespa is famous, however its protection is extremely important both for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the region.


The aim of the project was to inform the public about the value of these rare fish species and the threats they face, as well as to encourage local authorities and stakeholders to actively participate in their conservation. The project included a series of communication activities targeted at both the general public and more specialised audiences. TV and radio infomercials, a mobile exhibition which toured Greece, leaflets and a documentary film were all used to make the general public more aware of the natural wealth found in the Prespa Lakes. In addition, the publication "Fish species and sustainable fisheries in Prespa," meetings with stakeholders and lobbying to promote concrete measures were all means by which the issue of sustainable fisheries and the protection of fish populations were put more firmly on the agenda.


Read the full article


2014 Riverprize now open!

24 January 2014

We are happy to announce that we are now accepting applications for three Riverprize categories in 2014 – the Thiess International Riverprize, the Australian Riverprize and the IRF European Riverprize.


Our online application system in was impemented in 2013 and after treviewing feedback from users, we will continue to use the online system in 2014. This means that you are one click away from setting up a profile and commencing your 2014 Riverprize application.


Embedded in the online process is easy access to support materials, FAQs, videos from past finalists and quick access to our Programs Manager who can answer any questions you maye have regarding your application. 


Riverprize celebrates those working tirelessly through the ages and those who realise change for our rivers. Maybe you are our next Riverprize champion!


Click here for more information.


IRF appoints new Chairman and Directors

6 December 2013

Martin Albrecht, IRF director and RiverFoundation member, today announced the appointment of Ms Sallyanne Atkinson as the new Chair of the International RiverFoundation (IRF) Board. Ms Atkinson replaces Professor Gary Jones.


Mr Albrecht noted that Ms Atkinson’s appointment was part of a ‘refresh’ of the Foundation’s Board and management after ten years of operation, to take it into a second decade with new vigour and aspirations.


“Sallyanne was the originator of the concept of Brisbane as a ‘river city’ and comes with a wealth of experience in government, business, social affairs and the community. Best known as Brisbane’s first woman Lord Mayor, Sallyanne will be interim Chair until a three-year appointment is made mid-2014,” said Mr Albrecht.


Three additional new directors have been appointed to the RiverFoundation’s Board - Ms Leith Boully, Mr Kieren Perkins and Mr Philip Weller. 


Click here to read the media release


OceanaGold assists with Typhoon Haiyan rescue operation

15 November 2013

IRF partner, OceanaGold, has dispatched their Didipio Emergency Response Team (ERT) to help with the rescue operation following the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The ERT, based at the Didipio mine in Luzon, has been dispatched to the Tacloban region where they will assist the Philippines Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) in the rescue mission.


The OceanaGold ERT is working in a convoy with other groups including the Tacloban Red Cross, Global Medic of Canada, Wilderness 505th Auxiliary brigade and the Philex mining ERT; with seven vehicles, 43 people, 400kg of rescue equipment and importantly, a water purifier on board.


In addition to this, OceanaGold staff are running a clothing and blanket drive, and the company Christmas party has been cancelled with the funds set aside for that purpose to go towards the relief effort. They will be donating medical supplies, buying food, and contributing funds to the UNICEF Children's Emergency Appeal. Discussions are also taking place with PMSEA in regard to medical missions.


The IRF is proud to have OceanaGold as a partner and we thank them for their generous contribution to the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort.


OceanaGold Website


Nushagak's Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust finalises conservation deals

5 November 2013

The Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust recently accepted deeds to two parcels of land in the Nushagak River watershed. The parcels were acquired to protect the habitat and subsistence values of each property. The Nushagak River was a finalist in the 2012 Thiess International Riverprize, and received a special mention from the judges for outstanding efforts in river protection.


The first property acquired is 120 acres located at the confluence of Old Man Creek and the Mulchatna River.  In a survey of Native allotments undertaken by the Land Trust in 2009, the parcel at the mouth of Old Man Creek was highly ranked because it was in the center of an area used heavily by subsistence hunters and sport fisherman. Old Man Creek is important habitat for moose and also supports spawning and rearing. The second parcel is located on Chikuminuk Lake at the outlet of the Allen River. The Nature Conservancy purchased the 160 acre parcel in 2004.  The parcel was then the only private inholding on Chikuminuk Lake and its acquisition for conservation secured the State Park wilderness designation for the lake.  The Nature Conservancy has now transferred ownership and the responsibility for stewarding the property to the Land Trust.

Stewarding the property will be a challenge for the Land Trust as Chikuminuk Lake is once again being investigated as a potential source of hydroelectric power for Bethel and other communities on the Kuskokwim.  The Land Trust has provided comment to the State on the conflict between park purposes and a hydroelectric dam on Chikuminuk Lake. 


Read full article


D'Entrecasteaux Channel Twinning Project wins award

4 October 2013

The D'Entrecasteaux Channel project, one of the newest IRF Twinning initiatives, has taken out a 2013 Tasmanian Local Government Award for Excellence. The Derwent Estuary Program (DEP) won the Australian Riverprize in 2010, and opted to undertake a Twinning project with the D'Entrecasteaux Channel / Huon Estuary in the adjacent catchment.


The D'Entrecasteaux Channel Project has a focus on bringing together existing science to understand the waterways better; promote the values of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and lower Huon Estuary; improve the availability of information on the waterways to all stakeholders;and to initiate a coordinated and collaborative approach to managing the Channel and lower Huon Estuary.


The Kingborough Council, who submitted the application on behalf of the D'Entrecasteax Channel Project, was awarded the local government award for 'delivering excellence in natural and built environments.' Although the project is in it's infancy, it has received widespread community, government and industry support, and judges recognised that it provides a blueprint for future activity and sets a framework within which a multitude of users can engage and be responsible.


Find out more about the project | Tasmanian Local Government awards


Leading international organisations unite

1 October 2013

As part of the 16th International Riversymposium, seven organisations and projects, each with mandates to improve the management of transboundary water basins, announce the launch of the Global Network to advance integrated river basin management around the world. This effort will leverage resources and address the unprecedented, long-term challenges to viability of the world's river basins in the 21st century. 


Together the IRF, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), the Great Rivers Partnership of the Nature Conservancy, the Global Environment Facility's (GEF) International Waters Learning Exchange and Research Network (IW:LEARN) and the ICPDR will foster an open learning exchange to share and leverage best practices in river basin management across organisations and geographies. 


The core objective of the Network's collaboration is to facilitate, in all regions of the world, the emergence of more effective and efficient governance and sustainable development of water resources by integrating management at the basin level. 


Click here to read full article


Charles River meets the Danube

2 July 2013

On Thursday 27 June, the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) set off to Vienna, Austria for a tour of the Danube River. 39 people from 4 countries are participating in the international friendship tour linking two Thiess International Riverprize winners - the Charles and the Danube. 


Hosted by the International Commission to Protect the Danube River (ICPDR) in both Vienna and Budapest, visitors from the Charles will visit wetlands and fish ladders, go kayaking and biking along the river, and meet with local activists working to protect the Danube.  


The CRWA has been blogging along the way. To follow their journey, for maps, images, videos and updates, go to http://www.crwa.org/ontheroad.html.


Condamine Alliance takes out the trifecta

18 June 2013

Condamine Alliance, winner of the 2012 Australian Riverprize, is celebrating its third major environmental award within the year.


The natural resource management group was awarded the 2013 United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award for Biodiversity at a gala function in Melbourne last night.


The latest award caps off a stellar year for the group who also won the 2012 Banksia Award for Water late last year.  All three awards are for the group’s Dewfish Demonstration Reach project which has helped increase native fish populations in the Condamine River by up to 1000%.


 Condamine Alliance CEO Phil McCullough said this latest win has left him speechless.   “We were delighted to be named finalists in this national award but we are absolutely thrilled to have won it,” Mr McCullough said.  “Over the past 5 years our partners and the community have worked hard to repair our river and it is fantastic to see this acknowledgement,” he said.  


“It is a privilege and honour to receive this award from such a strong field of worthy finalists across Australia.. We congratulate all finalists and recognise their valuable contributions to the environment in their area. Our country is a better place for all their dedication and work.” 


Modeling Southeast Queensland Waterways

17 April 2014

BMT WBM's Catchments and Receiving Modelling team has recently developed one of the largest and most technically advanced environmental modelling tools covering Southeast Queensland (SEQ) waterways for the Healthy Waterways Partnership. 


The project involved developing catchment models and receiving water models that simulate flow and water quality throughout SEQ. The modelling platform used Source Catchments, TUFLOW-FV, our in-house hydrodynamic and sediment transport model, and AED, a state-of-the-art water quality model developed by A/Prof Matt Hipsey at the University of Western Australia.


The catchment modelling built on a previous model (also developed by BMT WBM) to incorporate recent best practice developments in hydrology and pollutant generation. This also involved calibration of the catchment model to the latest flow and water quality throughout SEQ


Using the catchment model to generate inflows, BMT WBM then developed full three dimensional (3D), high resolution hydrodynamic and water quality models of all major estuaries that drain the SEQ catchment. 


Read Full Article 




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Our Programs

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Our flagship program, Riverprize is the world's most prestigious environmental award, giving recognition, reward and support to those who have developed and implemented outstanding, visionary and sustainable programs in river management. In 2013, RiverFoundation will award the Thiess International Riverprize, the Australian Riverprize and the inaugral IRF European Riverprize.

Twinning Program

International RiverFoundation's Twinning Program is an innovative initiative that supports collaborative partnerships to restore rivers. This unique program enables Riverprize winners and finalists (Riverprize Alumni) to exchange their valuable expertise with other river organisations that are in need of skills and knowledge.

Sponsored Delegates Program

International RiverFoundation financially supports a number of river scientists and practitioners from less developed countries to attend the International Riversymposium. Enabling them to present their work, share their experiences, learn about world's best practice  and develop networks for improving river health in their home country.

Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship

The Ken Thiess Memorial Scholarship offers a full tuition scholarship to study the Master of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management, located at the International WaterCentre Water Research Node at Monash University, South Africa. The course is taught by international leaders in a broad spectrum of disciplines. Graduates gain the research, strategic and managerial skills they need to advance their careers in the water sector and become future leaders in water management.

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Rivers in the Media

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News articles are selected for the IRF website based on their interest value or to stimulate discussion and debate. The news articles published on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the IRF, its partners or its staff.

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Mystery remains over why Condamine River is bubbling

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About Us

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The International RiverFoundation rewards and gives recognition for the restoration and sustainable management of the world's rivers, lakes and wetlands to improve the health of these precious resources and the communities that depend on them.


International RiverFoundation's flagship program is in awarding the International Riverprize, the Australian Riverprize and the European Riverprize; giving recognition to those implementing and achieving best practice in river management. 


Our innovative twinning program is a unique point of difference. Riverprize winners and finalists have the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with another organisation in need of their expertise. 


As a Foundation we are financed by donations from individuals, companies and governments that are passionate and committed to making a difference.

IRF Vision

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International RiverFoundation is a not-for-profit organisation with a vision of a world in which all rivers and waterways are healthy and sustainably managed.


Established in 2003 in response to the critical state of many of the world’s rivers, International RiverFoundation is a dynamic organisation dedicated to supporting the sustainable management of the world’s rivers basins.

IRF Mission Statement

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We operate with an independent, global and non-political stance.

We act as a catalyst for sustainable river management worldwide.


We work directly with “river managers” in a “bottom-up” leadership approach to achieve on-ground results.

We aim to transfer world's best practice into practical applications with tangible results.

We build partnerships and alliances with organisations worldwide to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

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IRF Life Benefactors

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International RiverFoundation sincerely thanks our Life Benefactors who have given a significant contribution, supporting a specific program and/or donating to our endowment fund.  


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