Lake Eyre Basin catchment projects
For more than one decade the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board, through Australian Government funding, has invested in extensive investigations of the South Australian portion of the Lake Eyre Basin. The multidisciplinary research has contributed significantly to our knowledge of catchment function including the natural features and human influences on key waterholes and wetlands, something that has previously been poorly understood. The work provides vital baseline information on hydrology, geomorphology, vegetation, birds/floristics, soils, ecological condition, cultural landscape values, and visitor management, essential information for informing future management strategies.
Georgina Diamantina catchment
The Georgina Diamantina Catchment covers approximately 361 305 km² and incorporates parts of the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia. The catchment ranges from semi arid in the north and north-east, to arid in its southern and western parts. Consequently, the streams of the catchment are ephemeral with short periods of flow following rain, and long periods of no flow. The catchment contains a diversity of land types that supports a variety of land uses, including Aboriginal, pastoral, mining tourism and National Parks.
A series of technical reports extend our knowledge of the Georgina-Diamantina catchment function, threats and pressures with the key findings summarised in the Channel Country summary report.
- Summary Report
- Riparian habitat values
- Aquatic ecology
- Vegetation and soil assessment of selected waterholes
Interpretive panels for Mungerannie were also produced as part of this project to extend visitor knowledge of the catchment:
Cooper Creek catchment
The 297,000 km² Cooper Creek catchment makes up almost one quarter of the Lake Eyre Basin, taking in parts of Queensland and South Australia and a small section of north-west New South Wales. Each year the rivers in the catchment dry into a series of semi-permanent pools and permanent waterholes. Boom times bring a huge array of plant and animal species to the Cooper Creek catchment. During these peak flood events the catchment’s waterholes are connected but when flood waters recede they become isolated and plants and animals need permanent safe havens like Cullyamurra Waterhole to survive.
The Cooper Creek catchment is a significant wetland system which supports unique an important biodiversity and a range of industries including pastoralism, mining and tourism.
A series of technical reports have been produced and summarised in the Cooper Creek catchment summary report.
- Summary report
- Landscape assessment
- Aquatic ecology
- Condition assessment
- Cane toads
- Managing the Cooper Creek (bringing land managers, Traditional Owners and industry together)
- Valuing life on the Cooper Creek (valuing the catchment's plants and animals)
- Maintaining natural flows in the Cooper Creek
- Take care to protect the Cooper Creek(balancing people, planet and profit)
- Cane Toad Alert video
Interpretive panels and plaques for Killalpaninna extend visitor knowledge of the site's cultural, historical and ecological values:
- Etadunna Station - historic Bethesda Mission site, Lake Killalpaninna, Cooper Creek
- Desert rivers - the 'boom and bust' country
- The Dieri people of the Lake Eyre Basin
- The history of the Bethesda Lutheran Mission
- The art of mud brick making
- Building a German village
- Never enough houses for everybody
- Drought and deluge - mission life
- The Bethesda mud brick church
- Superintendent's House
- Reuther - missionary, translator, ethnographer
- Wagons in the desert
Neales Peake catchment
The Neales Peake has a catchment area of 35 000 km2 and the major Neales and Peake ephemeral river systems flow towards Lake Eyre through tablelands, gibber and gypsum plains. Whilst the Neales has two permanent waterholes, the deepest, largest and most persistent waterhole is the Algebuckina Waterhole. While there is a significant variability in the characteristics of this river system, it is important to maintain natural flow regimes within the catchment to assist in the conservation and protection of this system’s social, cultural and ecological values.