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16 - May 2004

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New Chief

CSIRO Land and Water welcomes new Chief Dr Rob Vertessy, following the retirement of Dr John Williams. Dr Vertessy previously headed the CRC for Catchment Hydrology as its Chief Executive Officer since 2002, and is a well-respected hydrologist with a significant national and international profile.

Towards a Healthy Wheatbelt

The Western Australian Wheatbelt, a region of some 20 million hectares, is far from healthy country. Past management practices have subjected the land to a series of environmental pressures, and today’s farmers are left with a legacy of salinity, erosion and acidification. But now, CSIRO’s Water for a Healthy Country Flagship will provide a framework for considered debate on the future of the wheatbelt valleys.

Economic Research Boost

The new Canberra office of the Policy and Economic Research Unit (PERU) will work alongside government research organisations, potential collaborators and research centres associated with the major universities, supporting the good work done by the unit based in Adelaide.

Disease Control, Nature’s Way

A new range of natural options for disease control may soon be available to farmers all over the world – and CSIRO Land and Water is at the forefront, with international research into new ways to increase crop production through biological control. The commercial potential for one natural fungus is currently being evaluated by Bio-Care Technology and CSIRO, in collaboration with researchers in China.

Healthy Working Rivers

‘River health’ is something we hear a lot about these days, especially in relation to the environment. But what makes a river ‘healthy’? Rivers and Estuaries Research Director Dr Peter Gehrke shares his thoughts in this article.

The Risky Business of Environmental Contaminants

Science can save industry tens of millions of dollars by preventing pollution and directing resources to areas that need it most. Find out how ecological risk assessment, a valuable tool in decision-making for environmental management, is developing in Australia following the recent CSIRO Workshop.

Tropical Rivers Forum

Australia’s greatest river systems lie in the northern half of the continent, home to some 70% of Australia’s water resources. Scientists faced with the challenge of managing the long term health of Australia’s tropical river systems met at a recent forum to consider the increasing social, political and business interest in the water resources of northern Australia.

Griffith Lab launch

Australian Science Minister Peter McGuaran launched the $4 million facilities upgrade of CSIRO’s Griffith laboratory in early April. The Griffith laboratory is one of the world’s leading irrigation research centres.

Working to World Standards

The River and Irrigation Hydrology Research Directorate is now the second research team at CSIRO Land and Water to achieve International Standards Organisation accreditation - a quality management system that covers every step of the research process.

What Soil is that?

'Australian Soils and Landscapes' is a beautifully illustrated new reference guide. It reveals great diversity in our natural world and explains why a soil’s basic properties and position in the landscape should guide our use of the land.

Editor: Lynne Griffiths Designer: Anne McKenzie