Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
Border Rivers catchment annual water use options 2012-13
This factsheet provides an overview of Border Rivers catchment environmental water use options for 2012- 13. More detail about these options is on Annual Water Use Options 2012-13: Border Rivers Valley report.
The Border Rivers catchment straddles southern Queensland and north-eastern NSW and is based around the Macintyre and Dumaresq rivers that join upstream of Boggabilla. Other waterways within this catchment include the Severn River, the Mole and Beardy Rivers and Macintyre Brook.
Water availability for the Border Rivers catchment in 2012-13
Up to 10.9 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water will be available for use in the Border Rivers catchment during 2012-13. Up to 1.5 gigalitres of unsupplemented water may also be available. Information about the overall management of the Commonwealth environmental water holdings including options for carryover and trade can be found in the Portfolio management statement at Portfolio Management Statement 2012-13: Border Rivers Valley
What do we want to achieve in 2012-13?
Over the past two years high natural inflows into the Border Rivers catchment have assisted with the environmental recovery after a period of prolonged drought. If very high inflows continue, the need for Commonwealth environmental water may be reduced in 2012-13.
If watering is required, this will continue the recovery of river channel and wetland areas in which native plants and animals live. By providing good habitat, native plants and animals are better able to cope with major changes in environmental conditions, such as droughts or floods.
To achieve these environmental benefits we will continue to work closely with staff from state agencies, industry and landowners within the catchment to ensure that the proposed water use options take into account operational and management considerations and local environmental conditions.
Why is environmental water required in the Border Rivers catchment?
The Border Rivers catchment requires environmental water to protect and restore its rivers, wetlands and floodplains. Environmental water provides more natural flow patterns to the Murray-Darling Basin river system, this in turn contributes to the wellbeing of regional communities who depend on sustainable water management to support healthy rivers, strong communities and productive economies.
This catchment includes the Boobera, Punbougal and other nationally significant billabongs and lagoons on the Morella watercourse. It is one of the few permanent water bodies in the arid northern Murray–Darling Basin and provides habitat for Brolga and glossy-black cockatoo. The catchment also supports a variety of native fish communities including Murray cod, silver perch, purple-spotted gudgeon and the Darling River rainbowfish. River coobah, river red gum, river sheoak coolibah,and lignum are important native plant communities in this catchment.
Details about Commonwealth environmental watering events and outcomes across the basin can be found in our Annual reports and Outcomes reports at publications page
Some options for environmental water use in the Border Rivers catchment
Examples of proposed watering options in this catchment during 2012-13 include:
- Flows to the Severn, Dumaresq and Macintyre Rivers (very low inflow scenario) to help environmental recovery by maintaining flowing water to keep in-stream habitat wet, water quality safe and provide drought refuge for a range of aquatic plant and animal communities.
- Flows to the Severn, Dumaresq and Macintyre Rivers (low-moderate inflow scenario) to help efforts to connect the rivers within the catchment to its billabongs, lagoons and wetlands and improve water quality.
How were the environmental water use options developed?
A range of annual water use options has been developed for each catchment where the Commonwealth holds environmental water. All options have been developed based on advice from stakeholders including the Commonwealth's Environmental Water Scientific Advisory Panel, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW Office of Water, Fisheries NSW), QLD Department of Natural Resource and Mines, State Water corporation, Sun Water and local water users and landholders (through briefing the State Water Border Rivers Customer Service Committee and the Border Rivers Environmental Watering Network).
Each option contributes to meeting the overall environmental objectives of the Proposed Basin Plan – A revised draft, released on 28 May 2012. The options do not represent a commitment for water use. Decisions on Commonwealth environmental water use will be made throughout the year after an assessment of the seasonal, operational and management conditions at the time. Water use planning and operations will also be updated once the Basin Plan is made.
How can you be involved?
Local groups, state governments and others are working with us to manage Commonwealth environmental water by giving advice on where it can be best used, helping to deliver the water, and to monitor outcomes. The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office welcomes information from the community on how environmental water can best be managed including further suggestions on the water use options.
To contact us
please call 1800 218 478
or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also subscribe to our mailing list by
For further information on the management and use of Commonwealth environmental water please visit publication section