• What is Long Term Intervention Monitoring?

    Intervention Monitoring aims to understand the environmental response of Commonwealth environmental watering objectives and expected outcomes. Monitoring responses Long Term (5-yearly) will allow assessment of sequences of watering events over a number of years relative to the objectives and enable reporting of progress towards achieving the environmental objectives of the environmental watering plan. Informed by the targeted monitoring, it is anticipated that long term intervention monitoring will be the key input for reporting under the Basin Plan on the use and environmental outcomes of Commonwealth environmental water.

Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project

 Evaluating the contribution of Commonwealth environmental water to achieving Basin Plan objectives:  supporting the adaptive management of Commonwealth environmental water.
 The Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project
is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s
Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.


The role of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) is to manage Commonwealth environmental water.  The Water Holder, supported by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, manages the Commonwealth’s environmental water portfolio. This includes research projects that inform approaches to aquatic ecosystems and environmental watering policy, and major projects to improve water quality and the ecological health of iconic wetland assets in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Long Term Intervention Monitoring (LTIM) is a key element of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office response to the requirements of the Water Act 2007 and the MDBA’s Basin Plan.  The LTIM aims to support good governance and reporting and critically, improved decision making around the use of environmental water through the application of the principles of adaptive management.  Monitoring and evaluation are critical steps in the management of Commonwealth environmental water and support its efficient and effective use within the existing planning framework.  Monitoring is used to quantify the environmental outcomes of the allocation of Commonwealth environmental water.  Evaluation is the process of comparing these outcomes to the objectives set out in the legislation and determining whether the allocation was an effective and efficient use of environmental flows.  By measuring environmental responses to watering activities in Selected Areas of the Basin, this project is an integral part of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) Framework for Commonwealth environmental watering in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Project objectives

The objectives of the Long Term Intervention Monitoring  Project are to:

  • Monitor and evaluate the ecological response to Commonwealth environmental water at Selected Areas
  • Evaluate the contribution of Commonwealth environmental water to the objectives of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
  • Infer ecological outcomes of Commonwealth environmental water in areas of the Murray-Darling Basin not monitored
  • Support the adaptive management of Commonwealth environmental water

Long Term Intervention Monitoring

Monitoring is undertaken to understand the impact of Commonwealth environmental water at both an area (Selected Area) and Basin scale. This evaluation is one step in the adaptive management of Commonwealth environmental water.

The Office has engaged monitoring teams (Monitoring and Evaluation Providers), led by research institutions, to develop and implement 5-year monitoring and evaluation for Selected Areas within the Basin.

The Murray–Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC) are acting as Monitoring and Evaluation Advisers for the project and will conduct an annual Basin evaluation of outcomes at the Basin scale.

The focus of the monitoring is to identify ecological outcomes from the use of Commonwealth environmental water to support reporting and adaptive management.

Selected Areas for monitoring

Monitoring and evaluation of Commonwealth environmental water is undertaken in seven areas within the Murray-Darling Basin (see below). These Selected Areas were chosen to provide maximum possible coverage of areas where Commonwealth environmental watering will occur and to complement, rather than duplicate, monitoring activities already being undertaken by others including Basin states and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. The monitoring at the Selected Areas commenced in 2014-15 and will continue until June 2020.