Authors: Whittle, PL; Leggett, AM
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Temporary waters include intermittent and ephemeral streams, lakes, pools and wetlands and are found throughout the world, largely in arid and semi-arid environments. The development of resource projects near temporary waters requires the determination of potential impacts pre, during and post mining which is often difficult to quantify and monitor due to the highly variable nature of the systems. In Australia, the current water quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic ecosystems are unsuitable for application in temporary waters and it is acknowledged that there is a need to develop guidance for these waters. A review of international practice finds a similar issue where current policies for protection and assessment and management guidelines generally are found to be lacking. A rigorous scientific approach for defining and monitoring temporary waters, which takes into account high levels of variability and is transferable across environments, is required. The authors outline key factors which need to be considered when developing site specific water quality targets for temporary waters and a potential approach which can be implemented in a range of environments.

Keywords: water quality guidelines ephemeral intermittent

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