School of Geography - Theses

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    Municipal water use for irrigation in Victoria, Australia
    Evans, Andrew Reginald ( 1998)
    Recent water industry reforms, pressure for ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and administrative changes to local government such as the introduction of compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) have the potential to affect municipal water use in Victoria. This thesis examines how local governments in Victoria manage water used for irrigation of council green areas. Global and Australian water issues, local government in Australia, ESD and local government water management, and Victoria's water industry and pricing system are discussed. Forty five councils in Victoria completed the survey `Municipal Water Use for Irrigation'. Results indicate that water use is becoming increasingly important to local government and the perceived need for water conservation is driven by both economic and environmental factors. Pressure for ESD is having an impact on municipal water use, particularly as many councils develop environmental management strategies or similar policies. Recent State Government reforms to the water industry, including changes to water pricing and charges for water use, are likely to have an affect on future consumption levels. Changes to the operational structure of local government in recent times, particularly the introduction of CCT, are also having an impact on water management. Councils reponses to CCT were mixed; some saying it created opportunities for improved water management, while others felt it gave them less control over water use. However, CCT has probably not been in operation long enough for its effect to be fully gauged. Councils are beginning to implement strategies for water conservation, including the application of xeriscape principles to council landscapes and improved horticultural practices and irrigation management. Further work is required at a local government level before significant reductions in water use can occur. This includes an audit of council water use, the development of water management strategies, improved landscape management practices and community education.
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    A comparative analysis of litter generated at shopping centres, roadsides and riverside-foothpaths within the Plenty River catchment and the extent to which litter from these sources is reflected in the composition of bank litter along the Plenty River
    Muthike, Joseph M. ( 1996)
    Litter studies often face the problem of category overlaps when attempts are made to classify litter items. This study proposes a classification that is aimed at minimising the problem of category overlaps. It then employs this classification in comparing litter characteristics at various generation points within the Plenty River catchment and the extent to which the litter found entangled on banks of the river relates to that at the various source sites. In addition, the local litter policies and management strategies are reviewed against experiences from other parts of the world. The litter classification employed in this study describes litter items on the basis of their use-origin and material-type. Litter generation areas at which survey was undertaken were Greensborough, Montmorency and Lower Plenty shopping centres; roadsides adjacent to bridge sites and riverside footpaths along the Plenty River. Riverbank litter sampling was undertaken at points near roadside and riversidefootpath survey sites. A comparative review of litter policies and management strategies from various parts of the world revealed some desirable aspects that could benefit litter management in Australia. The `Systems Approach' as the guide to litter policy and management strategy formulation in Victoria was found to have inherent weaknesses that partly account for the persistence of litter pollution. Using data from litter survey at shopping centres, roadsides and riverside footpaths, it was found that: (a) Litter generated within different shopping centres was not significantly different but smoking-related litter pose the most serious cause of concern owing to its dominant frequency, (b) litter at roadsides next to bridge-sites within the catchment had significant differences leading to a conclusion that roadside litter is mostly a function of factors specific to a site. At the same time, a higher relative incidence of litter was observed at roadside points nearer bridges than further up the road; (c) significant differences exist in material-type frequency composition of litter between riverside footpath sites and this was viewed as indicative of a higher likelihood among individuals to improperly dispose of certain litter items than others. On the basis of data from riverbank litter survey, this study found that: (a) the distribution of litter by type of material on different types and extent of riverbank vegetation cover is random; (b) riverbank morphology does not to influence the distribution of total litter items entangled on a riverbank; (c) litter generated at riverside footpaths has a higher relative likelihood of polluting the river banks than that generated at more remote locations (shopping centres and roadsides).