Within the framework for bioregional assessments of coal seam gas and coal mining development, assets are explicitly defined as ‘those characteristics (ecological, economic, or cultural) of the bioregion to which can be ascribed a defined value (whether quantitative, semi quantitative or qualitative) and which can be clearly linked, either directly or indirectly, to a dependency on water quality or quantity and be impacted by coal resource development’ . Throughout formulation of the Namoi Catchment Action Plan , expert workshops were used to define assets within the river basin as part of the process for understanding the resilience of the social, economic and environmental institutions and values within the Namoi. Where available, conceptual models of the processes that regulate the function of these assets were presented. These provide a general overview of the main processes involved in the functioning of the assets but were generally not quantitative or semi quantitative and it was not clear that these were used in any qualitative modelling to assess future risks or trends. As part of the Bioregional Assessment programme a comprehensive list of water dependent assets will be compiled and stored in an asset register.
In accordance with the philosophy adopted in the Namoi Catchment Action Plan and adopting the format of Eco Logical Australia risk assessment for assets of the Namoi CMA assets were divided into themes of Biodiversity, Land and Water. Previous studies have identified many assets within each of these categories. Here we summarise this previous work and in particular Supplementary Document 1, associated with the Namoi Catchment Action Plan . However, this does not represent a comprehensive list of assets that might be considered as part of the bioregional assessments process. This is an overview of assets relevant to each of the asset classes, and a useful classification of assets that may help to reduce the complexity of addressing a vast list of assets and identifying useful receptors. Although it is convenient to divide the assets into themes, for most assets there will be strong relationships and interconnectivity among assets from all themes.
188.8.131.52.1 Land assets
Expert workshops were used as the basis for forming definitions of landscape assets, during formulation of the Namoi Catchment Action Plan. It was decided that land management units (LMUs) were an appropriate scale for the assets under consideration . These landscape assets are summarised in Table 19. More detailed descriptions of land management units are presented in Table 13, and detailed descriptions of each asset given in Namoi CMA (2012).
Table 19 Landscape assets of the Namoi river basin
The Riparian corridor and Upland Bogs and swamps land management units are listed as Water related assets
* Significant for river basin hydrology-major recharge source
The Namoi CMA ran two expert workshops with groundwater, surface water, riparian vegetation and biodiversity experts to identify assets within the water theme.
Table 20 Water assets of the Namoi river basin
Biodiversity in the Namoi Catchment Action Plan is defined as ‘the variety of life forms, the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystems they form’. Again, expert workshops were conducted to identify assets within the biodiversity theme’s known thresholds and to develop conceptual models that provide an understanding of key ecosystem resilience parameters. The workshops identified assets and considered appropriate conceptual models for each.
Table 21 Biodiversity assets of the Namoi river basin
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- 1.1.1 Bioregion
- 1.1.2 Geography
- 1.1.3 Geology
- 1.1.4 Hydrogeology and groundwater quality
- 1.1.5 Surface water hydrology and water quality
- 1.1.6 Surface water – groundwater interactions
- 1.1.7 Ecology
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