River Styles Framework

Impact: Environment impacts, Policy impacts, Science impacts, Training impacts, Culture impacts, Society impacts, Organisation impacts, Symbolic impacts, Economy impacts

Description of impact

The River Styles Framework was a Macquarie University impact case study for the 2018 ARC Engagement and Impact assessment.

The impact of applications of the River Styles Framework on river science and management has been documented in a paper published in Nature Communications and downloadable from here:

Fryirs, K., Brierley, G. and Dixson, T. 2019. Engaging with research impact assessment for an environmental science case study. Nature Communications. 10, 4542. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12020-z

The River Styles Framework is helping decision-makers around the world to implement strategic, science-based management of river systems.

The River Styles Framework has been applied on six continents and continues to be adopted by new countries, supported by a portfolio of professional training courses.

More than 253,000 kilometres of river length has been mapped using River Styles in Australia and overseas. This number continues to grow as more countries embrace the value of geomorphology in integrated river management.

Rivers in Australia, Europe, North America, South America and Asia are being managed more effectively through the use of the River Styles Framework, a set of geomorphic procedures and tools developed at Macquarie University to interpret river character, behaviour, condition and recovery potential. The Framework is also used and to support prioritisation and decision support systems in river management practice.

Highlights include adoption by the European Union, integration into management planning for America's iconic Colombia River, and use in India's Ganga Basin, home to over 45 million people.

Use of the Framework has generated significant improvements in river health throughout NSW and overseas, making catchment management more sustainable and benefiting millions.

The Framework has been developed over 20 years of research, resulting in more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and 6500 book sales worldwide.

The River Styles Initiative also contains a portfolio of professional short courses that have been taught in Australia and overseas for over a decade.
Impact date20002030
Category of impactEnvironment impacts, Policy impacts, Science impacts, Training impacts, Culture impacts, Society impacts, Organisation impacts, Symbolic impacts, Economy impacts
Impact levelBenefit