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Twinning Case Studies – International Twinning Partners

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Tweed River, Australia and Nairobi River, Kenya

AUSTRALIAN RIVERPRIZE FINALIST, 2008

The Tweed Kenya Mentoring Program (TKMP) was initiated and formally adopted by the Tweed Shire Council (TSC) in 2004. This twinning project is unique in that the TSC have never been a Riverprize winner, though they were selected as a finalist in 2008. Originating from a chance meeting between Olita Ogonjo from Kenya and Mike Rayner, Council's then Director of Engineering, the project has continued to evolve over the last eight years but remains committed to water, environment and to a reciprocal friendship and learning between the two participating communities.

 

TKMP initially focused on working with youth groups in Nairobi on issues relating to environmental and catchment management, in particular,  using sport as a tool to engage and inform young people about river rehabilitation. In addition, the program worked in the rural district of Siaya in Kenya's west to install small water purification facilities.  TKMP's work now concentrates on water and sanitation in Siaya, and opportunities have arisen to include community health in the program outcomes by engaging with the local communities on a complex range of issues. This evolution has been part of the mutual learning and understanding of those from both Kenya and Australia

 

In 2012, Nigel Dobson from TSC led the “Safe Water 4” project and the successful rehabilitation of Gona Dam which is now a permanent source of water for 6000 people. Prior to works, Gona Dam contained so much silt that it would dry up regularly, forcing local women and children to walk up to 6 kilometres per day in search of water.

 

The Safe Water projects undertaken as part of the TKMP are made possible by a variety of funding sources including donations from the TSC staff members which are matched by the Council, private philanthropy, businesses, community groups, donations of equipment from the SkyJuice Foundation (www.skyjuice.com.au) and a partnership with the Kenya Health Organisation (www.kenyahealth.org). On top of this are the thousands of hours of volunteer time and funds necessary to achieve the projects.

 

The TSC has now committed to supporting the TKMP up until 2015. Activities will continue to include water, youth and environment, but also expanded to increase attention to health, hygiene and sanitation. It is intended to add a female community health worker to the local team so that the key aims of involving local women and keeping girls in school can be achieved more effectively. The planning of Safe Water 5 for 2013 is well underway.

 

TKMP activities fall into the themes of:

 

 • Governance

 • Siaya WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Project

 • Environmental Education and Advocacy

 • Youth Engagement

 • Cultural and Technical Exchange 

Tweed River, Australia and Nairobi River, Kenya
   
River System

TWEED RIVER

New South Wales, Australia
Length 70 km
Area 1,110 km2
Population 80,000
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

Tweed River (south arm), Oxley River (middle arm), and Rous River (north arm).

Role of River System
  • Supports commercial fishing and farming
  • Supports tourism
  • Provides water supply and treated effluent discharge
Riverprize Australian Riverprize Finalist, 2008
   
   
   
River System

NAIROBI RIVER

Kenya
Length 390 km
Area 70,000km2
Population 4 million
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

Several tributaries, flowing eastwards join east of Nairobi at Athi River and into the Indian Ocean

Role of River System
  • Drinking water
  • Sanitation
  • 56% of Nairobi residents live on its banks
   
   
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Grand River, Canada and San Roque Lake, Argentina

THIESS INTERNATIONAL RIVERPRIZE WINNER, 2000

The Grand River, Ontario, Canada won the Thiess International Riverprize in 2000.

 

A twinning relationship was formalised in 2004 with Los Algarrobos (Cordoba, Argentina)  a non-governmental organization specializing in environmental education, community enhancement, and watershed issues to improve the health of the San Roque Lake watershed.

 

The relationship is intended to be a mechanism for sharing and learning between the two watershed communities.

 

The main activities have been:

  • 12 exchange visits which facilitated workshops and conferences to be delivered
  • on-site consultation in Cordoba
  • transfer of watershed approaches, practices and techniques from Canada to Argentina
  • twinning participants also participated in the International Riversymposium

 As a consequence of these activities, watershed health has been improved due to:

  • several sewage treatment upgrades made in the San Roque valley
  • Open-air dumps have been shut down and cleaned up
  • the Los Algarrobos environmental education materials distributed to tens of thousands of teachers have a watershed module that is a direct result of the twinning
  • a growing network, loosely affiliated, of watersheds sharing information with each other, and leveraging the benefits of the twinning. This watershed network includes the provinces of Catamarca, Jujuy, Cordoba, Mendoza, Salta, and Nequen.

 The second phase plans to accomplish two things:

1. making an increasing difference on the ground in the San Roque Lake Watershed; and,

2. extending the benefits of the twinning to the growing watershed network.

 

From 2010 – 2014 the twinning project plans to achieve the following:

  • “Watershed 101” exchanges for key stakeholders
  • a more integrated and effective system to gauge water quality and flows
  • a template for environmental self-assessment of farm operations
  • a pilot project to facilitate these farm plans
  • a pilot project for voluntary audits of residential, commercial, and institutional water use and incentives to implement water-saving recommendations
  • demonstration sites for streamside buffers, windbreaks, wildlife habitat plantings, and erosion control practices.
Grand River, Canada and San Roque Lake, Argentina
   
River System

GRAND RIVER

Canada
Length 300km
Area 14,430 km2
Population 925,000
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The watershed has several major tributaries.

Role of River System
  • Supports agriculture
  • urban communities
  • Foresty
Riverprize Thiess International Riverprize Winner, 2000
   
   
   
River System

SAN ROQUE LAKE

Argentina
Surface area 16 km2
Population 750,000
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The San Roque Lake was created by the damming of several rivers, namely the Suquía Cosquín. 

Role of River System
  • Supports a large community of people
  • Important for tourism
  • Biodiversity
   
   
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Alexander River, Israel and Lake Bam, Burkina Faso

THIESS INTERNATIONAL RIVERPRIZE WINNER, 2003

Alexander River is one of the longest rivers in central Israel (45km long), flowing from the mountains of Samaria to the Mediterranean Sea, north of Netanya.

 

The fresh water in the Alexander River is severely polluted by sewage and effluent which has adversely affected water quality and destroyed the natural landscape.

 

Alexander River is also the habitat of the rare Nile soft-shell turtle (Trionyx triunguis) that can reach a size of 1.2 meters and weigh up to 50kg. With the exception of the Alexander River, this protected species has all but disappeared from Israel's coastlines as a result of deteriorating water quality and water scarcity. In addition to soft-shell turtles, there are coots and other waterfowl, nutrias and swamp cats. Indigenous fish include catfish, tilapia, river eels and mullet.

 

While a number of rehabilitation initiatives have been undertaken, an integrated and comprehensive rehabilitation programme was launched in 1995. The Alexander River Restoration Administration (ARRA) was founded in 1995 with the aim of restoring the river and consists of over 20 public and state entities at the local, regional and national levels. As a result of effective coordination, cooperation and goodwill, real progress has already been achieved, including the completion of an eco-environmental survey and a comprehensive master plan. 

 

In 2004, ARRA established a twinning project with the government of Burkina Faso in West Africa to help them restore Lake Bam. Lake Bam is a natural lake and part of the Nakanbe River system, approximately 115km North of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, in West Africa. Under threat from population pressures, catchment practices and possibly climate change, Lake Bam is drying up.

 

In the dry season the lake varies between 15 – 25km in length, 0 – 2km in width, and 0 – 4m deep. In extreme droughts it may dry out completely.

 

Organisations involved:

  • Alexander River Restoration Administration
  • Burkina Faso Government
  • International RiverFoundation

 

Activities undertaken:

  • the completion of a scoping study in 2005, and
  • substantial progress towards completing a feasibility study to provide the baseline data for the restoration of Lake Bam.  
Alexander River, Israel and Lake Bam, Burkina Faso
   
River System

ALEXANDER RIVER

Israel
Length 45km
Area 550 km2 (watershed)
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The Alexander River in Israel flows from the mountains of Samaria to the Mediterranean Sea. The Alexander River Restoration Project demonstrates the only collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian neighbors on environmental issues, with on the ground results. This cooperation has survived even the most difficult times in the Middle East

Role of River System
  • Biodiversity
  • industry
  • recreation
Riverprize Thiess International Riverprize Winner, 2003
   
   
   
River System

LAKE BAM

Burkina Faso, Africa
Surface Area Variable due to extreme weather conditions
Area 2,600 km2 (watershed)
Population 100,000
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

Lake Bam is a natural lake and part of the Nakanbe River system.

Role of River System
  • Provides clean water for a large community
  • source of food via fishing
  • Supports stock and crops
   
   
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Siuslaw River, USA and Sakhalin Island, Russia

THIESS INTERNATIONAL RIVERPRIZE WINNER, 2004

After the Siuslaw Basin Partnership from Oregon USA won the 2004 Thiess International Riverprize for their remarkable accomplishments and innovation in the restoration of salmon habitat, they embarked on a journey to share their experience and lessons with Pacific coastal areas in Russia in order to assist in preserving those wild salmon populations.

 

Siuslaw Basin  Partnership won the Thiess International Riverprize for success in watershed management and salmon restoration efforts amidst great challenges: Oregon had lost 94% of its wild salmon runs over the last 150 years due to habitat destruction, overfishing and extractive industry development. The consequences of these practices have been catastrophic for the region, which has since spent billions on ecosystem and population restoration efforts that are slow to achieve success, but give hope for the future of these iconic and valuable species.

 

After receiving the prize, the Siuslaw Basin Restoration Partnership committed to sharing its knowledge with another area of the world, where their experience and expertise could be of some assistance The Oregonians looked across the ocean to Sakhalin Island, an area with similar environmental conditions and high value placed upon salmon. One major difference between the two regions is that in contrast to Oregon, Sakhalin’s salmon runs are still wild, and at 50% of historic numbers, continue to make a large contribution to the local economies.

 

A non-governmental organization based in Portland, Oregon, provided an important bridge between Sakhalin and Oregon. The Wild Salmon Centre (WSC) was founded in 1993 to share knowledge of the historical impacts and innovativeremedies occurring in the Pacific Northwest USA with the rest of the world.

 

Sakhalin Salmon Initiative (SSI) was formed in 2004 through the joint efforts of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, Wild Salmon Centre and multiple local stakeholders. This unique, public-private partnership  focused on advancing conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon and the ecosystems upon which they depend, building institutional capacity for conservation, and promoting sustainable economic development on Sakhalin Island.

 

The twinning partnership between the Siuslaw, WSC, and communities in the Russian Far East has played a major role in the establishment of Russia’s first-ever  Public  Salmon Councils  involving citizens, agencies, academia, and commercial and recreational interests in restoring and protecting salmon habitat on Sakhalin Island and other areas of the region.

 

There have been multiple (10) exchange visits between Russian Far East representatives and the Siuslaw Basin since 2005, with Johnny Sundstrom leading the Twinning initiatives. In August 2012, he  participated in the first-ever Kamchatka Peninsula’s Ust-Bolshaya Council's regional Salmon and Community Festival.

 

Organisations involved:

  • Siuslaw Institute, USA
  • Wild Salmon Center, USA
  • Sakhalin Salmon Initiative, Russia
  • International RiverFoundation, Australia
Siuslaw River, USA and Sakhalin Island, Russia
   
River System

SIUSLAW WATERSHED

Oregon, USA
Length 177 km
Area 2,040 km 2
Population 19,500
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

Drains from the Central Oregon Coast Range directly to the Pacific Ocean at Florence, Oregon.

Role of River System
  • Freshwater habitat for salmon and a myriad of other aquatic species
  • Recreation
  • Outflow of the region's 100+ inches of annual rainfall
Riverprize Thiess International Riverprize Winner, 2004
   
   
   
River System

RIVERS OF SAKHALIN ISLAND

East Russia
Length Major rivers more than 1,700km, 66,175 rivers in the region 105,260 km, 98% of these are minor rivers no longer than 10 km
Area 72,492 km2
Population 580,000
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

Largest rivers drain from the mountain ranges, discharging into the Sea of Okhotsk

Role of River System
  • Freshwater habitat of salmonoid fish
  • Food source of the communities
  • Salmon fishing - major source of employment
  • Tourism and recreation
   
   
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River Thames, UK and River Ganges, India

THIESS INTERNATIONAL RIVERPRIZE WINNER, 2010

In 2010 the River Thames won the Thiess International Riverprize for significant achievements and excellence in river restoration over a period spanning 60 years. The River Thames flows through London and 60 years ago it was declared biologically dead. Due to the work of the Environment Agency and its predecessors and partners, the  cleaner waters and improved habitats along its banks and tributaries have encouraged the return of a whole range of wildlife, including otters and 125 species of fish in the tidal river.

 

Similar to the River Thames, the Yamuna River is a main tributary of the Ganges River and flows through New Delhi, the capital of India. The Yamuna has similar problems to those which reduced the Thames to the status of being biologically dead in the 1950s. Those problems are mainly the result of the rapid industrialisation which the Republic of India is experiencing. That industrialisation is helping to bring the benefits of development to hundreds of millions of people. But, as in the old industrialised countries, and in other rapidly developing nations, there are side effects on rivers and the essential services which they provide for people and nature.

 

This is the backdrop which served as the beginning of the Thames – Ganges twinning partnership with the Thames River Restoration Trust (TRRT), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India and the Peace Institute Charitable Trust ( PEACE India). The Environment Agency made the charitable decision to hand over the whole Thiess International Riverprize monies to TRRT for them to invest in the Twinning partnership and in December 2011 the project was formally launched. Since then, notable progress has been made to the River Yamuna and its people.

 

In October 2012, representatives from TRRT, WWF India and PEACE India all attended the International Riversymposium and gave a joint presentation on the key achievements and cooperation achieved by this project.

 

Achievements include:

  • ‘Friends of the River’ groups - institutional strengthening
  • Catchment restoration (Plantations; social protection)
  • River health (PRHI) and Village health monitoring
  • Natural Farming - Waste management; Green Pilgrimage
  • Sanitation; GW recharge; Renewable Energy (Solar)
  • Capacity enhancement
  • Eco-clubs (YES – Yamuna Eco Scholars a program for young people)
  • Synergy with WWF India activities
  • Conserving the Critically Endangered Gharial crocodile
  • Intensive field surveys conducted to monitor species diversity and evaluate threats to species and habitat.

 

Additionally, all parties have conducted exchanges visits in both India and the United Kingdom to see how river restoration activities are undertaken in different countries. In the future, TRRT will continue to communicate with the PEACE Institute and WWF India. TRRT will also undertake two further monitoring visits to the programme areas and continue to work with all partners and the International RiverFoundation to disseminate the lessons learned from the project to help the restoration of other rivers in India and around the world.

 

As a result of the Thames - Ganges Twinning project, the first ever community Catchment Action Plan for the SOMB-THAPANA catchment has been developed. 

 

*Twinning News*

The first ever India Rivers Week, 2014 was organised successfully from 24 - 27 Nov 2014 at the WWF India secretariat in New Delhi. This forum is an outcome of the Thames - Ganges twinning program and demonstrates just how great a catalyst that Twinning can be for rivers around the world.

 

Jointly organised by WWF India, SANDRP, INTACH, Toxics Link and PEACE Institute with the Organising Committee headed by Sri Ramaswamy Iyer ji it was co-sponsored by Arghyam, Global Greengrants Fund (courtesy International Rivers), Peoples Science Institute and HSBC (courtesy WWF India).

 

With 'Rivers in Crisis' as the Conference Theme, around 140 participants drawn from all over the country deliberated over the four days on following key topics in a number of break out groups followed by plenaries. (The conference program is enclosed):

 

a) What is a River 

b) Key Elements of a Healthy River

c) Threats to rivers

d) Rivers Futures

 

River Thames, UK and River Ganges, India
   
River System

RIVER THAMES

England
Length 346 km
Area 12,935 km2
Population 14 million+
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

From Gloucestershire to the Thames Estuary at Essex.

Role of River System
  • supports a large industrial base and agricultural sector
  • recreation and tourism
  • provides water supply to communities
  • navigation

 

 

 

Riverprize Thiess International Riverprize Winner, 2010
   
   
   
River System

RIVER GANGES

India
Length 2510 km
Area 750,000 km2
Population 400+ million people
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

Western Himalayas (Uttarakhand, India) and flows south into the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh

Role of River System
  • Household, industry and agriculture water supply
  • Home to 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species and endangered Ganges river dolphin
  • Tourism
  • Central point of religious ceremonies
   
   
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Lake Simcoe, Cananda and Ayuquila River, Mexico

THIESS INTERNATIONAL RIVERPRIZE WINNER, 2009

In 2009, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) won the Thiess International Riverprize. This presented an opportunity for LSRCA to twin with a developing country, sharing expertise in the specialist  areas of watershed management, flood control, public participation, forestry, recreation and general environmental management.

 

In July 2010, after an extensive process, the LSRCA’s Board of Directors, with the approval of the IRF announced JIRA (representing the Ayuquila River in Mexico) as their twinning partner.

 

Located in Western Mexico, the Ayuquila River is part of the Ayuquila - Armería Basin. The Ayuquila River rises in the upper basin and merges with the Tuxcacuexco River to its east forming the Armería River.Combined, the Ayuquila-Armería rivers are 294 km in length, and about 550,000 people live in the basin.

 

Within the Ayuquila River Basin, there is a fertile valley where the main economic activity is intensive production of sugar cane. In the watershed, the economic benefits from development are not evenly spread. Some upstream communities have profited from the intensive export agriculture including sugar cane, watermelon and tomatoes. The downstream communities rely on subsistence farming, livestock, and fisheries. At the same time, water pollution from the sugar mill and untreated sewage from the upstream communities have had negative impacts on the quality of life downstream.

 

The five key areas of focus for the Ayuquila River twinning partnership are:

  • Governance
  • Integrated waste management
  • Stewardship
  • Education
  • Wastewater treatment.

Organisations involved:

  • Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Canada
  • Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Canada
  • Junta Intermunicipal de Medio Ambiente para la Gestión del la Cuenca Baja del Rio Ayuquila (JIRA) 
  • The University of Guadalajara
  • The Ayuquila-Armeria Waterdshed Commission
  • International RiverFoundation
Lake Simcoe, Cananda and Ayuquila River, Mexico
   
River System

LAKE SIMCOE

Canada
Surface area 744 km2
Area 2,840 km2 (watershed)
Population 450,000 (Across the watershed)
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

A number of southern Ontario rivers flow, generally north, into the lake. 

Role of River System
  • Recreational activities
Riverprize Thiess International Riverprize Winner, 2009
   
   
   
River System

AYUQUILA RIVER

Mexico
Length 294km
Population 550,000
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

Merges with the Tuxcacuexco River to is east before forming the Ameria River.

Role of River System
  • Supports a large community
   
   
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Charles River, USA and Jaraboca Rivers, Dominican Republic

THIESS INTERNATIONAL RIVERPRIZE WINNER, 2011

In September 2011, following 20 years of successful river restoration on the Charles River, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) won the Thiess International Riverprize.

 

In January, 2013, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) officially kicked off the start of a Twinning partnership project in Jarabacoa, a small city in the highlands of the Dominican Republic.

 

Working with four local partner groups CRWA is helping to assess river conditions, build a strong local constituency for river protection, and develop a long-term plan for river restoration and protection.

 

The partners signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) at a ceremony in Jarabacoa in February, agreeing to work together over at least a three year period, and outlining basic roles and responsibilities.

 

The key goals for this partnership include:

  • community engagement program
  • citizen science program
  • watershed assessment
  • restoration plan for watershed
  • Awareness and fund raising
  • including issues such as gender and education in the projects

The key partners currently involved in this Twinning project include:

  • Charles River Watershed Association
  • The Nature Conservancy Dominican Republic; 
  • Plan Yaque; 
  • The National Environmental School; 
  • and the City of Jarabacoa.
Charles River, USA and Jaraboca Rivers, Dominican Republic
   
River System

CHARLES RIVER

USA
Length 129km
Area 308 sq miles
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The Charles River is 80 miles long and flows directly through 23 towns and cities in eastern Massachusetts, beginning at Echo Lake in Hopkinton and ending in the Boston Harbor. 

Role of River System

The Charles River watershed is the most densely populated area in New England and supports 35 towns and cities. The river plays a number of roles, including:

  • supporting protected wetland areas
  • recreation
  • supporting a variety of fish species
Riverprize Thiess International Riverprize winner, 2011
   
   
   
River System

JARABOCOA RIVERS

Dominican Republic
Role of River System

The rivers in the Jarabocoa region are vital to the local communities and provide a range of services:

  • supporting livlihoods through agriculture
  • tourism
  • drinking water
  • ecosystems
   
   
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Danube River Basin, Europe and Orange-Senqu River Basin, Africa

The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) won the Thiess International Riverprize in 2007 for significant achievements and excellence in river management recognising the work undertaken for the past 15 years to overcome political and economical obstacles.

 

The ICPDR has been working to combat the terrible environmental problems in the Danube River including toxic waste pollution and destructive farming practices brought about by the 45-year long Soviet era. As the most international river basin in the world, the ICPDR brings together representatives of 14 countries and the European Commission to make decisions that affect the 83 million people living in the basin. Although many of the countries along the Danube River are not even part of the European Union, they all agreed to cooperate and meet strict EU water protection laws, showing their commitment to a healthy and sustainable Danube River.

 

The ICPDR and Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) have established a long-term collaboration and relationship of co-operation. The two Commissions entered into a Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation on Technical assistance, capacity building, and information sharing on transboundary river basin management and other related issues at a meeting in Vienna, Austria on the 13th of July 2008.

 

The twinning exchange of knowledge and experience will be focussed on the following:

  • Institutional and organisational development of River Basin Organisations including procedures and operations, and participation of key stakeholders such as NGOs and the business community in both operational activities and official meetings;
  • Implementation of legal instruments that regulate the operations of a River Basin Organisation;
  • Development of common policy framework in trans-boundary basin system;
  • Balancing priorities among different stakeholders and interest groups as well as improving stakeholder participation in basin management; and
  • Technical assistance in the development of basin wide management plans for - improving stakeholder participation in basin management; infrastructural development; water allocation; pollution control, monitoring and prevention/mitigation; and conflict management.
   
River System

DANUBE RIVER

Europe (10 countries)
Length 2,857 km
Area approx 800,000 sq km
Population 83 million people
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The Danube River Basin is Europe's second largest river basin, with a total area of 801,463 km². It is the world's most international river basin as it includes the territories of 19 countries. The ecosystems of the Danube River Basin are highly valuable in environmental, economic, historical and social terms, but they are subject to increasing pressure and serious pollution from agriculture, industry and cities.

Role of River System

This large, transboundary river system, supports lmany activities, including,

  • industry
  • agriculture
  • large urban populations
  • drinking water
  • recreation
  • tourism
   
   
   
River System

ORANGE-SENQU RIVER BASIN

Africa (four countries)
Area 1,000,000 sq km
Population over 20 million people
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The geography of the Orange-Senqu River basin is highly variable, from the mountainous terrain of the Kingdom of Lesotho, through the semi-arid and arid landscapes of South Africa’s Karoo and Richtersveld, to the deserts of southern Namibia.

 

The basin incorporates the central part of South Africa, which represents nearly half of the surface area of the RSA, the whole of Lesotho (where the main river is known as the Senqu), reaches to the southern part of Botswana, and drains most of the southern half of Namibia.

Role of River System

The large river system is essential for many things, including

  • agriculture and other rural demands
  • urban and othe domestic uses
  • wildlife and species
   
   
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Twinning Case Studies – Australian Twinning Partners

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Bulimba Creek, Queensland and Gregory River, Queensland

AUSTRALIAN RIVERPRIZE WINNER, 2005

Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C), Queensland, won the National Riverprize in 2005. The area is dominated throughout by residential development, whilst large scale industrial activities continue in the lower catchment; the upper catchment has some peri-urban areas.

 

Gregory River, Queensland

Fed by limestone springs, the immense Gregory River is one of few rivers in this region that flow all year round thanks to a strong groundwater influence in the area from Australia’s largest karst terrain.

 

The Maga-Kutana, Wakabunga, Nguburinjo, Ganggalida amd Mingin people are the traditional owners of the Gregory River catchment area and maintain strong cultural and spiritual connections with the land and rivers. The traditional ecological knowledge and health of these communities is in turn critical to the ongoing health of this wild river system.

 

B4C started building relationships in the Gregory in 2006 in collaboration with Southern Gulf Catchments.  In 2007, B4C became a founding member of Gregory River Landcare Group and starting to work with schools to establish Healthy Food Gardens and facilitate cultural exchanges with students in Brisbane.  The first Healthy Food Gardens were established in 2008 at Gregory Downs, Burketown and Doomadgee, and since then members of Bulimba Creek Catchment have visited the region yearly to refurbish the gardens and run workshops with the students.  There have been successes, failures and lessons learned. While twinning has been ongoing, 2013 will be a year of new challenges.

 

Organisations involved:

  • Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee
  • Gregory River Landcare
  • International RiverFoundation
  • Burketown State School
  • Doomadgee State School
  • Gregory Educational Facility
  • Southern Gulf Catchments

Focus activities:

  • healthy food gardens for local schools
  • weed eradication
  • establishing landcare
  • prevention of waste from travelling tourists entering the river
Bulimba Creek, Queensland and Gregory River, Queensland
   
River System

BULIMBA CREEK

Brisbane, Queensland
Area 122km2
Population 120,000
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The Bulimba catchment is the second largest creek catchment in Brisbane, Queensland.

Role of River System
  • supports urban community living
  • recreation
  • industry
Riverprize Australian Riverprize Winner, 2005
   
   
   
River System

GREGORY RIVER

Queensland
Length 73km
Population The neighbouring town of Gregory Downs has roughly less than 100 people.
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The Gregory River is fed by limestone springs and flows all year round.

Role of River System
  • significant cultural and spiritual values to indigenous Australians
  • traditional ecological knowledge
   
   
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Derwent Estuary, Tasmania and D'Entrecasteaux Channel, Tasmania

AUSTRALIAN RIVERPRIZE WINNER, 2010

The Derwent estuary lies at the heart of the Hobart metropolitan area and is a waterway of great natural beauty and diversity.  Named after the Celtic word ‘clear water’ in 1794, the Derwent is an integral part of Tasmania’s cultural, economic and natural heritage. The estuary is an important and productive ecosystem and supports a wide range of habitats and species. the River Derwent supplies the majority of the region’s drinking water supply and is a major source of hydroelectric power.  

 

The Derwent Estuary Program (DEP) was established in 1999 as a partnership to restore and promote the Derwent estuary. The program has been successful in bringing together a wide range of stakeholders – first to build a common understanding, vision and management framework – and second to progressively implement this vision through partnership agreements, good science and practical actions.

 

Upon winning the National Riverprize in September 2010, the Derwent Estuary Program went through a process to initiate twinning and had the support of their Steering Committee to go ahead. In January 2011 the process began to establish a twinning program. A number of environmental issues affect the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, in particular:

  • Rapid population growth with associated sewage and storm water discharges and clearance of foreshore vegetation;
  • Rapid development of aquaculture (finfish and shellfish) and associated releases of organic matter, nutrients, antibiotics and anti-foulants
  • High/increasing levels of recreational boating and fishing Increasing numbers of introduced marine pests and weeds, including toxic algal species resulting in periodic shellfish closures Risks associated with climate change including shoreline erosion, flooding and loss of coastal habitats due to sea-level rise

Subsequently a twinning project between the Derwent and D’Entrecasteaux Channel/Huon Estuary in the adjacent catchment was formed to tackle these issues. This Twinning project has received widespread community, government and industry support in the two adjoining catchments. Activities commenced in 2012 and the project was formally launched in December 2012.  

 

Focus activities have included:

  • joint monitoring and reporting of waterway health
  • scientific knowledge exchange and learning
  • review and update of coastal planning and scientific review from 1999.

Organisations involved include: 

  • Kingborough Council                               
  • Huon Valley Council                                 
  • Derwent Estuary Program                     
  • NRM South                                                  
  • Southern Water                                        
  • Tassal 

Achievements and Awards

In 2013 the Derwent Estuary - D'Entrecasteaux Channel twinning project was awarded the 2013 Local Goverment Assocation of Tasmania Award for "Delivering Excellence in Natural and Built Environments:

Derwent Estuary, Tasmania and D'Entrecasteaux Channel, Tasmania
   
River System

DERWENT ESTUARY

Tasmania, Australia
Length 239km
Area 9,832 km2
Population 200,000 (or approx 40% of Tasmania's population)
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

Originating at Lake St Clair and flowing south to New Norfolk, the estuary portion extends a further 52 km out to sea.

Role of River System

Recreation Boating Fising Marine transport and industry Drinking water Hydroelectricity

Riverprize Australian Riverprize Winner, 2010
   
   
   
River System

DéNTRECASTEAUX CHANNEL/ HUON ESTUARY

Tasmania, Australia
Area 717 km2
Population 30,500 (in the Kingborough municipality)
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The Channel lies between Bruny Island and south-east mainland Tasmania. It extends between the estuaries of the Derwent, and the Huon Rivers.

Role of River System

Cultural significance Marine reserves Unique fauna and flora Recreational activities Aquaculture, commercial fishing, boat-building, gourmet food production and tourism

   
   
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Oxley Creek, Queensland and Bremer River, Queensland

Oxley Creek Catchment Association (OCCA) was the winner of the Australian Riverprize in 2009. The prize was recognition for thirteen years of successful partnerships with the community which have resulted in increased awareness of our precious waterways and the life they support, more active responsibility for reporting waterway pollution events and increased community participation in waterway and ecological restoration.

 

The CreekWATCH program contributed to OCCA’s recognition as a leader in catchment management through strengthening OCCA’s relationships with industry and increasing their commitment to protecting and enhancing the natural resource values of the catchment.    

 

This new partnership with Ipswich City Council (ICC) looks to share OCCA’s experiences and knowledge in the Bremer River catchment, in particular CreekWATCH, with the aim of transferring practice and skills to inspire similar partnerships with the community and encourage industry participation for the benefit of the catchment.  

 

These two waterways share numerous issues in common, including:

  • pressures from highly urban  and industrialised areas
  • persistent poor water quality
  • flooding and disaster risk planning
  • populations who are no longer connected to their rivers and creeks

The key organisations involved in this beginning phase are:

  • Oxley Creek Catchment Association (OCCA)
  • Ipswich City Council (ICC)

Following this initial phase, OCCA & ICC will be working together and will invite other interested parties to become involved in the knowledge exchange program.

 

 Activities

This new Twinning initiative was launched on the 23 July, 2014. Since then the focus of activites has been:

  • research related to Bremer River needs and assessment
  • Stakeholder indentification and workshops
  • Target industry engagement
  • Employment of a dedicated Twinning Project Support officer
  • Planning for future events at the Connect to your Creek Week in late March and the Ipswich EnviroForum in early May
   
River System

OXLEY CREEK

Queensland, Australia
Length 70km
Area 260 square kilometres
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

Oxley Creek is a major tributary of the Brisbane River travelling a length of approximately 70 km from the northern slopes of Mt Perry, south of Ipswich, to the Brisbane River in Tennyson, Brisbane. The catchment of Oxley Creek drains an area of approximately 260 square kilometres. It is one of the largest catchments of Brisbane City and includes also a significant area of Logan City and a small area of Ipswich City. Oxley Creek has five major tributaries. Flowing into Oxley Creek from the east are Moolabin Creek with its tributary Rocky Water Holes, Stable Swamp Creek and Sheep Station Gully, and from the west are Little Doris Creek, Blunder Creek, Hanleys Creek with its tributaries and Crewes Creek . 

   
   
   
River System

BREMER RIVER

Queensland, Australia
Length 100km
Area 2,031 sq kilometres
Origin, Tributaries, etc.

The Bremer River is approximately 100 km in length with a total catchment area of 2 031 square kilometres. From its idyllic beginning in the World Heritage listed National Parks bordering the Great Dividing Range, the Bremer flows north east to Ipswich and joins the Brisbane River at Joseph Brady Park, Barellan Point. During its journey it is joined by five major tributaries, Bundamba Creek, Purga Creek, Reynolds Creek, Warrill Creek and Western Creek. Located on Reynolds Creek, Moogerah Dam provides drinking water for residents and irrigation water for crop producers and dairy farmers. Tidal reaches of the Bremer extend 17 km upstream from the confluence with the Brisbane River to the Ipswich CBD.

Role of River System

Half of the Bremer River catchment is grazing lands, while other uses include horticulture, mining and supporting a large urban population, namely the city of Ipswich.

   
   
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