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Environmental protection - it's in our nature

21 August 2020

As custodians of 60 per cent of Tasmania’s freshwater resources, Hydro Tasmania plays a pivotal role in looking after some of the state’s most important natural assets, with responsibilities that stretch well beyond the generation of clean energy.


Our dedicated teams go above and beyond, balancing the business of renewable energy generation with sustainably managing the environment to protect our rivers, lakes, threatened species, world heritage areas and cultural heritage, on behalf of all Tasmanians.


Testing the waters - the team looking after Tassie's most precious resource


David Ikedife

Senior Aquatic Scientist, Hydro Tasmania


David Ikedife is our senior aquatic scientist, whose passion for the job combines with a love of fishing – giving him a deep understanding of the importance of water management.


“It’s a continual balancing act to look after our business and operational needs, while making sure the condition of our lakes and rivers can continue to support biodiversity in and around them, and helping to keep them safe and accessible for the community for fishing, kayaking and boating,” said David.


“It takes a combined effort from our environmental scientists, water managers, operations personnel, the specialist scientists from our consulting business Entura, in addition to our working with other government agencies to achieve this balance.”


“Together we look out for threatened species in our lakes, including the state’s unique native freshwater fish, that could so easily go unnoticed, and we’ve developed technology to help migrating eels navigate our dams. We also manage environmental flows, which is when we release water from our dams to help maintain downstream river health.”


“We have a world-class fishery in Tasmania and some unique aquatic ecosystems. It’s a great privilege to contribute to programs that manage these waterways, so their environmental and social values endure for future generations while enabling us all to benefit from renewable energy.”



Andy Taylor

Environmental Scientist, Hydro Tasmania


Andy Taylor is one of our environmental scientists – and another keen angler whose professional and recreational interests overlap.


For Andy and his colleagues, being able to leave the office now and then to head into the field is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.


"While all the work we do is important, there's something special about going out into the very environment we're striving to protect and seeing our efforts come together, right there amongst Tasmania's beautiful scenery, plants and wildlife," Andy said.


“Along with our colleagues from Entura, we conduct a water quality monitoring program to collect and record information on the condition of each catchment area. Some lakes may be affected by external influences such as bushfire or drought, and regular monitoring takes place in these areas.”




“We might hop in a dinghy in the water to use a series of probes that allow us to measure physical and chemical parameters like water temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH and turbidity. We also collect this information continuously by installing probes within a floating raft and fixing it in place. The probe records the information remotely and transmits data back to us every 15 minutes”


“Once we have the water samples we send them to a Tasmanian Government laboratory for analysis, the information we get back from the lab gives us valuable information such as nutrient levels and algal counts.”


"By detecting and monitoring changes in water quality, we can learn from both the natural processes and the impact of our operations on ecosystems".


“Having our finger on the pulse enables us to monitor these things closely and adjust our operations if necessary.”



Kevin Macfarlane

Aquatic Environmental Scientist, Entura


Kevin Macfarlane is an aquatic environmental scientist with our consulting firm, Entura. He has worked on projects nationally and around the world, as well as in Tasmania.


Kevin leaves no fish out of water.


“Because some of our water bodies and waterways provide essential habitat for a number of diverse threatened species, we work hard to not only minimise our impact but to conserve them for future generations,” Kevin said.




"This is such a stunning part of the world with remarkably diverse species and to contribute to looking after the natural values and threatened species that inhabit our lakes and waterways is really special".


“One of our projects, monitoring threatened galaxiid species of fish, involves setting a series of fyke nets overnight at certain locations throughout yingina / Great Lake. We then monitor the catches the next day, identifying and measuring each fish. We conduct similar surveys at other sites.”


"This allows us to examine the population structure and, ultimately, the health of the population, and guides our management of lake and storage levels.”


“For example, during periods of high electricity demand and low inflows, the lake level can drop substantially. If it becomes too low or happens too quickly, it can potentially lead to dewatering in critical spawning habitats of threatened fish.”



Rachael Wheeler

Environmental Consultant, Entura


Rachael Wheeler is an environmental consultant with Entura, who undertakes flora and fauna surveys. She supports the Climate and Environment team to ensure all environmental risks and opportunities are being considered during our operations and projects.


With the impact of climate change already being felt, our Climate and Environment team is acutely aware of the importance of managing ecosystems and wildlife to protect our unique environment.


“We know the impact humans have had on the planet, so to be involved at such a critical level in learning from our natural world in order to better protect it is an amazing opportunity,” Rachael said.


"We are so lucky in Tasmania to have these remarkable assets on our doorstep and we are all committed to keeping them safe and healthy for everyone to enjoy now and long into the future".

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