Journal article

Thinking outside the channel: Challenges and opportunities for protection and restoration of stream morphology in urbanizing catchments

Geoff J Vietz, Ian D Rutherfurd, Tim D Fletcher, Christopher J Walsh



Urbanization of catchments profoundly changes the morphology of streams by increasing stormwater runoff, altering sediment regimes, and limiting space for channel change. Management response commonly involves addressing the symptoms of urbanization by reconfiguration and partial hard-lining of the channel. Mounting evidence suggests, however, that stream restoration goals may be better achieved by addressing the causes of channel degradation at a catchment scale, increasing opportunities to work with geomorphic processes. The challenges of this approach in urban catchments have not been comprehensively explored. In this perspective essay we describe how stream restoration in urban catchments..

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Awarded by ARC Future Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Bob Hawley for his review of an earlier version of this paper. Geoff Vietz was funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, an Australian Government Initiative, formerly the Cities as Water Supply Catchments Program. Tim Fletcher is funded by an ARC Future Fellowship (FT100100144). Chris Walsh is funded by Melbourne Water through the Melbourne Waterway Research-Practice partnership. Finally, we thank Professor Wei-Ning Xiang and two anonymous reviewers for their time and valuable comments that greatly improved this manuscript.