January 2011

Evaluating the Wonnangatta by canoe

21.01.2011 - Posted by Stuart Cleven
I have just come back from a couple of days canoeing along the Wonnangatta River in East Gippsland where we are completing an assessment of the river channel and riparian zone for East Gippsland CMA. We saw some magnificent sections of the river and also had a few challenging rapids to negotiate to keep us on our toes.  Despite an unintentional dip in the river, I would rate this a pretty good week at work.

Devastating Queensland Floods

12.01.2011 - Posted by Joanne Crerar
The flooding in Queensland continues with large areas of the state still experiencing record rainfall. While Alluvium Queensland is not directly affected here in Townsville, our thoughts are with family, friends and clients in other parts of the state, particularly Central Queensland and South-east Queensland where there is still major flooding.

The Pasig River Rehabilitation Project

12.01.2011 - Posted by
The Pasig River is a 27-kilometer body of water that traverses across Metro Manila between a freshwater lake and Manila Bay. Once a major transport route, source of water and thriving ecosystem, the river is intimately connected to Philippine history. Today, it is one of the most polluted and toxic river systems in the Philippines. The Pasig River is currently considered the ‘toilet bowl’ of Manila and is a dumping ground for domestic and industrial waste.

A tributary to the Pasig River prior to commencement of the project – there is a river beneath the rubbish

The ABS-CBN Foundation together with the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are co-managing the rehabilitation of the Metro Manila water basin, with an initial focus on the Pasig River and its tributaries. The seven-year Pasig River rehabilitation project involves fund-raising campaigns; education campaigns to create awareness among residents about preventing pollution; improving the water quality and physical appearance of the waterway; and the relocation of 4,000 informal settlers along the river.

In October last year, Alluvium staff member Keryn and her partner Ian (from Engineers Without Borders) travelled to Manila in a volunteer capacity to assist the ABS-CBN Foundation/DENR with this ambitious project. They ran workshops on water quality fundamentals for Foundation and DENR staff; provided advice on current rehabilitation activities along tributaries; and led a workshop with the management staff to develop a process for appointing and reviewing water treatment/rehabilitation technologies and contractors. Keryn and Ian will be maintaining contact with the Foundation and providing advice where possible throughout the project’s life.

The headwaters of Estero de Paco, a tributary of the Pasig River in October 2010 after the commencement of design and treatment efforts

Despite the technical challenges, this project is essentially a social one. It aims to change the residents’ behavior and attitude to the river. Many people we spoke to on the ground told us how inspired they are by the current efforts and excited by the prospect of a future healthy river. Gina Lopez, Director of the ABS-CBN Foundation and a media-based philanthropist, heads up the project with a passion. She said “Cleaning the Pasig River is not just about cleaning the water of a river. I feel the ramifications, if we clean this river; it will give our people hope. It’s for our future. It’s reverence for the environment. It’s resuscitating a frame of consciousness which is essential for this country if we do it in the main waterway of the capital city of the country”.

San Miguel – a tributary to the Pasig River in October 2010 – the next focus of physical works

Alluvium Champs in Anaconda Adventure Race!

10.01.2011 - Posted by Elisa Zavadil
Alluvium had three teams competing in the Anaconda Adventure race at Lorne on Dec 5th 2010. We were delighted (if not rather stunned) to discover that this year one of our teams took out the corporate mixed category – largely thanks to the lightening speed of paddler Wilf Finn (NWC). Thanks Wilf! It was a superb effort by all our teams and a great day out in the sunshine and sea air. This has become an annual event for Alluvium, so if you are keen to join us, sign up now for 2011!

Wilf Finn, Elisa Zavadil, Mark Stacey, Chris Arnott – victory in the corporate mixed team category

Rob Argent (BOM), Ross Hardie, Alan Kaye finish strong

Happy to be home – Amanda Stevens, Misko Ivezich, Darcy Moar

Eels on Wheels a success!

6.01.2011 - Posted by Kane Travis

The Townsville office crew have been assisting NQ Dry Tropics NRM, designing and constructing a trap to capture young eels (elvers) to transport them around/over otherwise impassable water storage dam walls. In December 2010 the prototype, (affectionately called “Eels on Wheels” because it’s made out of a $50 wheelie bin!) successfully captured its first eels. Several hundred were caught and transported on the first flows of the season over the Ross Dam in Townsville.

Now that the idea has been proven the challenge is to develop a more robust model that can successfully capture thousands of elvers and then duplicate the trap, which will then be used at other dams in the region to make a real difference in returning eels to catchments where they previously common. Thanks are also due to the staff of Townsville City Council that have been checking the trap daily and moving the elvers.


Paul Duncanson (NQ Dry Tropics) and Tyson Smalley (Alluvium) with the “Eels on Wheels” trap and Paul holding one of the captured elvers.