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1.3.1.2 Compiling assets and developing the water-dependent asset register


1.3.1.2.1 Ecological assets

Two natural resource management organisations (NRMs) nominated assets through contribution of data to the WAIT database (Australian Government Department of the Environment, Dataset 2, Dataset 3). These NRM-nominated assets were added to the asset database. Contributing organisations are listed in Table 3.

Additional assets were nominated from analysis of data provided by national, state and regional databases (Australian Government Department of the Environment, Dataset 2, Dataset 3) (Table 4). These datasets included:

  • areas with various designations of formal conservation at national or state level
  • ecosystem types with a threatened status recognised by national or state legislation
  • potential distributions of species with a threatened status recognised by national or state legislation
  • previously identified water-dependent ecosystem types or water-related topographic features, nominated regardless of any designated conservation status.

Table 3 Natural resource management organisations that contributed data to the Water Asset Information Tool database for the Cooper subregion

Organisation

Description in asset register

Elements

Assets

(asset list)

Desert Channels Queensland

WAIT_Desert Channels

4,911

12

SA Arid Lands Natural Resources Management Board

WAIT_SA

6,262

358

Total

11,173

370

Data: Australian Government Department of the Environment (Dataset 2, Dataset 3)

Table 4 Federal, state and regional data sources for ecological assets in the Cooper subregion

Dataseta

Dataset citation

Elements

Assets (asset list)

Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric version 2.1.1

Bureau of Meteorology (Dataset 4)

16,666

416

Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database (CAPAD)

Australian Government Department of the Environment (Dataset 5)

3

3

A directory of important wetlands in Australia (DIWA)

Australian Government Department of the Environment (Dataset 6)

24

5

Great Artesian Basin Groundwater Recharge

Geoscience Australia (Dataset 7)

37

1

National atlas of groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDE Atlas)

Bureau of Meteorology (Dataset 8)

10,777

366

Birds Australia Important Bird Areas (IBA)

Birds Australia (Dataset 9)

2

2

National Groundwater Information System version 1.2 (NGIS)

Bureau of Meteorology (Dataset 10)

2911

1

Lake Eyre Basin Rockholes and Waterholes in Queensland

Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (Dataset 11)

96

79

Threatened ecological communities listed under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

Australian Government Department of the Environment (Dataset 12)

3

1

Threatened species listed under the EPBC Act

Australian Government Department of the Environment (Dataset 13)

37

12

Threatened species listed under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Nature Conservation Act)

Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (Dataset 14)

10,404

9

QLD Wetland Data version 3: Streams

Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (Dataset 15)

4,475

11

Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Dataset 16)

1

1

SA Lake Eyre Basin Aquatic Ecosystems Mapping and Classification

South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, (Dataset 17)

6,145

10

SA Wetland Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Classification

South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, (Dataset 18)

1,058

238

Total

52,639

1,155

aThe asset database (Bioregional Assessment Programme, Dataset 1) is a collation of all these source datasets. Some assets may be captured in multiple databases. These replicates are retained in the asset register as boundaries may differ between databases.

The asset database includes a wide range of information about each asset, including unique asset identifier (AID), name, type and geographic location. Geographic location is specified as ‘shapes’ in the sense of geographic information systems (GIS). A shape may be a polygon (for an area of land), a line (for a linear feature such as a watercourse) or a point (for a specific location whose area is smaller than the areal resolution of the geographic information (e.g. a spring). Many nominated assets are composed of several geographic parts. For example, a national park may comprise several blocks of land separated by road or railway reserves, the potential habitat of a threatened species of bird may include patches of remnant habitat separated by agricultural land, and the potential habitat of a threatened species of fish may be restricted to the artesian springs scattered widely across a landscape. To accommodate assets composed of many parts, the asset database specifies each shape as an ‘element’ and one or more elements are then grouped to create assets. A detailed description of the process for classifying and aggregating elements to assets is presented in the companion submethodology M02 (as listed in Table 1) for compiling water-dependent assets (Mount et al., 2015).

A preliminary version of the water-dependent asset register, along with associated maps and data, was presented to experts and organisations with local knowledge at workshops in Brisbane in October 2014, and in Charleville and Quilpie in February 2015, for comment and feedback. The Brisbane meeting was attended by representatives of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP), Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM), Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI), and the Queensland Herbarium. The Charleville meeting was attended by representatives of Murweh Shire and South West Natural Resource Management, and the Quilpie meeting was attended by representatives of Bullo Shire and Quilpie Shire. The attendees were given two weeks to review the preliminary water-dependent asset register and to return comments and suggestions.

1.3.1.2.2 Economic assets

As described in the companion submethodology M02 (as listed in Table 1) for compiling water-dependent assets (Mount et al., 2015), economic assets are classed as either a ‘basic water right’ (stock and domestic) or a ‘water access right’:

  • basic water right (stock and domestic) – this is the right to take water for domestic and stock purposes only. A basic right for ‘take of groundwater’ requires approval for any works that may be involved (e.g. a bore), but does not require a licence for the extraction of groundwater. A basic right for ‘take of surface water’ does not require approval for any works or for the extraction of surface water.
  • water access right – this requires a licence both for the works and the extraction of the water. The extraction of the water can be for a range of purposes including irrigation, commercial, industrial, farming, dewatering, mining and intensive agriculture.

Licensing data were sourced from DNRM and the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR).

Within the asset database, every ‘water access right’ and ‘basic water right (stock and domestic)’ is an element, and elements are grouped by type and spatial location (according to water management zones or areas) to create assets.

Another, less formal subclass of economic assets occurs in the Cooper subregion: surface water features used for water supply. This type of asset was nominated through the Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric datasets from the Bureau of Meteorology (Table 5).

Table 5 Data sources for economic assets in the Cooper subregion

Dataseta

Dataset citation

Elements

Assets

(asset list)

Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric version 2.1.1

Bureau of Meteorology (Dataset 4)

3

1

QLD groundwater licensing from the water management system

Bureau of Meteorology (Dataset 19)

15

5

SA groundwater licensing from the water management system (areas around wells)

South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (Dataset 20)

1

1

Total

19

7

aThe asset database (Bioregional Assessment Programme, Dataset 1) is a collation of all these source datasets. Some assets may be captured in multiple databases. These replicates are retained in the asset register as boundaries may differ between databases.

1.3.1.2.3 Sociocultural assets

Sociocultural assets were sourced from the Australian Heritage Database (Australian Government Department of the Environment, Dataset 22, Dataset 23), which includes assets sourced from the National Heritage List (NHL) and the Register of the National Estate (RNE) (Table 6).

Meetings have been held with Indigenous knowledge holders in the Cooper subregion to gain further understanding of Indigenous cultural water-dependent assets. Where possible and appropriate, and with the agreement of Indigenous knowledge holders, these additional Indigenous water-related values will be published in a separate report. Identified assets will be incorporated into an updated water-dependent asset register and/or incorporated into later technical products.

Table 6 Data sources from the Australian Heritage Database for sociocultural assets in the Cooper subregion

Dataseta

Dataset citation

Elements

Assets

(asset list)

National Heritage List Spatial Database (NHL) (v2.1)

Australian Government Department of the Environment (Dataset 22)

2

2

Australia, Register of the National Estate (RNE) - Spatial Database (RNESDB) Internal

Australian Government Department of the Environment

(Dataset 23)

24

24

Total

26

26

aThe asset database (Bioregional Assessment Programme, Dataset 1) is a collation of all these source datasets. Some assets may be captured in multiple databases. These replicates are retained in the asset register as boundaries may differ between databases.

1.3.1.2.4 Duplicated or overlapping assets

Some specific areas within the Cooper PAE were nominated several times, from different databases. For example, Coongie Lakes and the immediate surrounding areas (north of Innamincka, in the western part of the PAE) were nominated as:

  • a protected area (Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database; CAPAD)
  • an important wetland (A directory of important wetlands in Australia; DIWA)
  • an important bird area (Birdlife Australia Important Bird Areas; IBA)
  • a Ramsar wetland (Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance)
  • a groundwater-dependent ecosystem (GDE)
  • an area of heritage significance recognised within the Register of the National Estate (RNE).

Likewise, some assets sourced from different datasets overlie each other, as they consider slightly different aspects of the same geographic area. For example, a national park may include springs, wetlands, and groundwater-dependent woodlands, and therefore the park may partially overlap assets describing:

  • areas of heritage significance to the RNE
  • GDEs
  • threatened ecological community distributions listed in the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
  • potential habitats of federal or state-listed threatened species.

Duplicate and overlapping assets were treated as entirely separate assets for the purposes of compiling the register of water-dependent assets for the Cooper subregion. Such an approach meant that no judgment need be made of the priority of one asset or asset type over another asset or asset type, and thereby that equal respect and attention was paid to all stakeholders’ asset nominations and contributed databases.

Last updated:
10 February 2017