News

Drone surveys river

By Country News

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority is taking flight to monitor erosion and vegetation along the Goulburn River and help address impacts.

With the help of a state-of-the-art drone, the Goulburn Broken CMA is capturing high-quality images along vast stretches of the river in ‘‘a fraction of the time of surveying in the field’’.

According to a Goulburn Broken CMA video, the drone technology from the United States will track bank erosion and vegetation changes related to unseasonally high flows in the Goulburn River.

The drone will collect data while the flows continue throughout summer.

Geomorphologist Geoff Vietz said this would allow the opportunity to quantitatively compare maps ‘‘of things such as bank erosion and changes in vegetation types’’.

‘‘We can capture such a large area of information and repeat that time and time again,’’ Dr Vietz said.

‘‘And so that comparison allows us so much more data to work with.

‘‘We’ll come here once flows get to certain levels to be able to recapture, so we understand the influence of various characteristics of the flow regime over the next five to six months.’’

Goulburn Broken CMA’s Simon Casanelia said the drone was part of a review into the impacts of unseasonal high flows over summer and autumn on bank erosion and vegetation on the lower banks of the Goulburn River.

He said it would lead to a ‘‘robust scientific understanding of the impacts of unseasonal high flows on the vegetation and bank condition of the Goulburn River’’.

‘‘This information will then be used to inform future management of water delivery in the river,’’ Mr Casanelia said.

‘‘The information will also be used to understand whether these unseasonal high flows are reducing the positive environmental gains that we have achieved by delivering water for the environment.’’