Bushfires can have a tremendous impact on a catchment's response to rainfall. High intensity fires can alter the structure and erosivity of the soil, increasing turbidity in the streams while the loss of shade increases water temperature. In the face of climate change, the increasing severity of bushfires should be incorporated in modelling and design exercises.

Which parameters should be adjusted in hydrologic and hydraulic models? How should spillways, culverts, and other hydraulic structures be designed for increased resilience to bushfire impacts?

Join us for this webinar in which expert presenters will demonstrate impacts of historical events and likely trends for future assessments. The webinar will include the impacts of the recent 2019-20 fires in Australia on in-stream fauna, supported by lab studies showing adapting tolerance to warmer temperatures and reduced oxygen levels in the presence of post fire ash and sediment.


Patrick Lane

The University of Melbourne

Patrick Lane is a forest hydrologist who researches the effect of forest growth dynamics and disturbances such as fire on the amount and quality of water from forested catchments. Read more

Rebecca Cramp

University of Queensland

Dr Rebecca Cramp is a Senior Research Fellow and comparative physiologist in the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland. Her research focuses primarily on how the environment co... Read more

Jacqueline Frizenschaf

Water Research Australia

Jacqueline has been in the water resources and water quality business for over 25 years. After completing degrees in hydrology and water resources engineering in Germany and the USA, her professional ... Read more

Krey Price

International Water Training Institute

Educated at the University of California at Berkeley, Krey is a civil engineer and project manager with international experience in water resources. He is engaged in computational modelling, engineeri... Read more

Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/EPA


Rebecca Cramp presentation synopsis:

Substantial changes to the aquatic environment following severe bushfires can include the loss of riparian vegetation leading to increased aquatic temperatures, hypoxia, changes in light levels and the input of ash and sediment that can release nutrients and toxicants into the water. However, we currently have little understanding of the tolerances of aquatic fauna to such changes in water quality. Consequently, our recent work examined how a number of Australian freshwater fish, frogs and invertebrates are affected by acute and chronic exposure to post-fire water quality changes such as elevated temperatures, low oxygen levels and ash and sediment run-off.


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