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Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystem Values (CFEV) Assessment Framework

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Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Latest documentation


Designed for use in

Tasmania, Australia



Assessment purpose

Condition, Management effectiveness, Prioritisation, Processes and components, Values/Services

Assessment criteria

Significance, Physical and chemical, Management and planning, Flora, Fauna

Method type

Desktop, field truthing, expert panel, consultation


Long term


Landscape/Catchment, Region

Wetland system

Estuarine, Groundwater, Lacustrine, Palustrine, Riverine

Description and method logic

Method purpose

The purpose of the CFEV assessment is to identify important freshwater values.


The Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystem Values Project (CFEV) developed an assessment framework as part of the Water Development Plan for Tasmania. The CFEV assessment identifies high priority freshwater values are appropriately considered in the development, conservation and management of Tasmania's water resources.

The design of the CFEV assessment framework is based on Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative (CAR) principles and also includes the condition of the catchment. It complements the terrestrial and marine management systems already in place in Tasmania.

Method logic

The assessment uses existing environmental data to identify the freshwater values for rivers, water bodies, wetlands, saltmarshes, estuaries, groundwater dependent ecosystems and karst systems and combined with other data relating to special values, to provide a conservation value. All freshwater-dependent areas throughout Tasmania can be identified with a conservation management priority score of low, medium, high or very high priority.

A GIS database stores the assessment results and can be used to produce reports for any freshwater related area of the State.

Criteria groupings of the method

Criteria are based on Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative (CAR) reserve design principles, as well as Naturalness, Representativeness and Distinctiveness (NRD).

Data required

State wide datasets including:
  • Indices and scores from various assessment and monitoring schemes
  • GIS dataset and modelling
  • Remote imagery

Resources required

Expertise required

Expert panels, GIS experts and database management.

Materials required

A database platform for data storage, manipulation and values assessment, a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform for result presentation and interpretation.

Method outputs


Conservation/priority values for wetland ecosystems in Tasmania:
  • Integrated Conservation Value (ICV) of freshwater dependent ecosystems
  • Conservation Management Priority - Potential (CMPP2) of freshwater dependent ecosystems
  • Conservation Management Priority - Immediate (CMPI2) of freshwater dependent ecosystems
A GIS based database that can act as a planning and information tool, showing areas of low to high conservation value and their proposed management priorities:
  • A public interface to the GIS database.
  • GIS database interface to the GIS database that provides users with greater access to data and functionality.


  • freshwater-dependent ecosystems are assigned conservation value and a conservation management priority
  • Inclusion of freshwater values in assessment of future water development proposals and other environmental impact studies
  • Setting environmental objectives for environmental flows assessments
  • Focussing management efforts to protect or restore high conservation value ecosystems

Criteria by category

    Physical and chemical

    • Condition status
      • Flow change
      • Geomorphic condition
      • Hydrology
      • Naturalness score
      • Sediment input
      • Water quality

    Management and planning

    • Condition status
      • Impacts
      • Land disturbance
    • Conservation management priorities
    • Land tenure security


    • Ecological character
      • Biological classification
      • Physical classification


    • Condition status
      • Native vegetation
    • Conservation status


    • Condition status
      • Fish
      • Macroinvertebrate condition
    • Conservation value
    • Species values


Recommended user

The method is best by government agencies.

Tasmania's water management and conservation authorities use the CFEV database to help them assess the ecological sustainability of future water related developments, to protect significant freshwater values, and to assist in focussing freshwater management efforts to protect and/or restore high conservation value ecosystems.


  • State wide assessment
  • Objective conservation prioritisation
  • Uses existing assessments
  • Integrated expertise
  • Ground truthing


  • Relies on existing datasets
  • Modelled data sources
  • High level of expertise required

Case studies

Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystem Values Database

Department of Primary Industries and Water, Tasmania, (4 November 2018). CONSERVATION OF FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEM VALUES DATABASE. [online] Available at:;jsessionid=B33B3BD4913CEB28514612CA8B8A7CF9.cattley3 [Accessed 1 August 2018].



  1. DPIW (2008), Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystem Values (CFEV) Project Technical Report. Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystem Values Program, Department of Primary Industries and Water, Hobart, Tasmania.

Last updated: 7 February 2019

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2019) Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystem Values (CFEV) Assessment Framework, WetlandInfo website, accessed 1 February 2023. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science