Assessing and using the CFEV data

It should be acknowledged that CFEV data uses a variety of data sources as input and that some of these are modelled and are not ground-truthed. As a result, care should be taken when using specific variables at specific locations. The strength of the CFEV data lies with its comprehensive coverage of the state, which allows broad scale comparisons, generalised summaries, and the combination of complicated data sets into readily interpreted indices.

DPIPWE currently uses the CFEV database in assessments of dam proposals, determining environmental flows and general catchment management. Assessing dam proposals involves checking that the proposed site and areas immediately downstream are clear of conservation values such as Special Values (SVs) or important biophysical classes that may be affected by the proposed dam. We also use the CFEV database in environmental flow assessments. A shortlist of conservation values is generated for the river being assessed and these provide valuable input for ecologists in the early stages of an environmental flow assessment.

The CFEV database provides the results of the assessment of conservation value and identifies the conservation management priorities, but also houses a variety of information on biophysical classifications, Special Values (SVs) and condition. The database can be accessed via two web interfaces:
  • the Water Information System of Tasmania (WIST) – established for the general public user who requires occasional access to the CFEV data for specific locations.
  • the CFEV Corporate Interface (CFEVCI) – designed to enable professional users to retrieve a greater level of detail including freshwater conservation values, priorities and condition drivers.  It also enables a user to summarise data for catchments or sub-catchments.

Specific details on how to access these web interfaces can be found below.

Water Information System of Tasmania (WIST)

The simplest and easiest way to access the CFEV database is the Water Information System of Tasmania (WIST); DPIPWE's access point to comprehensive water-related data sets. This web-based portal provides access to information on water flow, water quality, water licensing, aquatic biota and a range of relevant departmental publications.

The CFEV module of this interface provides access to high-level information (conservation management priorities, conservation value rankings (and associated values) and condition variables). Two options exist within WIST that enable a user to:
  1. identify important values associated with priority freshwater-dependent ecosystems that may be impacted by a potential land or water development proposal
  2. browse for natural values information relating to specific ecosystem themes at a variety of spatial scales.
Access the CFEV data via the WIST and follow the link to Natural Freshwater Values:

The CFEV Corporate Interface (CFEVCI)

The CFEV Corporate Interface (CFEVCI) provides access to a broad range of variables together with web-style GIS tools to enable summarising and reporting of freshwater ecosystem data. Data can be viewed at a variety of spatial scales and users can interrogate all levels of the CFEV assessment information, including ecosystem character and condition.  Access to descriptive data is streamlined, requiring only one or two clicks on a feature to get detailed information.  A user can also download customised reports to tailor for their specific purpose. Metadata for variouse data is also available.

The CFEV Corporate Interface requires users to register to receive a username and password, before they can access the site.  Please contact the Project Manager via email to register and include a brief description of how the data will be used.

The CFEV Corporate Interface can be found at  It works best using Mozilla Firefox as an internet browser, which can be downloaded from:  The user guide for the interface has worked examples to demonstrate the features of the CFEVCI.

  CFEVCI User Guide   (6Mb)

Data from the CFEV database should be acknowledged as follows: CFEV database, v1.0 (2005), Conservation of Freshwater Ecoystem Values Program, Water and Marine Resources Division, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania, periodic updating.

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