Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
Namoi River valley annual water use options 2012-13
This factsheet provides an overview of Namoi River valley annual water use options for 2012-13. More detail about these options is on Annual Water Use Options 2012-13: Namoi River valley.
The Namoi River valley in north western NSW is bounded by the Great Dividing Range in the east, the Liverpool Ranges and Warrumbungle Ranges in the south, and the Nandewar Ranges and Mt. Kaputar in the north. It includes the Upper and Lower Namoi, Peel and Manilla Rivers.
Water availability for the Namoi River valley in 2012-13
Up to 7.7 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water will be available for use in the Namoi River valley during 2012-13. 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: Namoi River valley
Why is environmental water required in the Namoi River valley?
The Namoi River valley requires environmental water to protect and restore its rivers, floodplains and wetlands. 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.
The rivers, floodplains and wetlands of the Namoi River valley include a wide range of habitats such as deep river channels and pools, wetlands, gravel beds and large areas of floodplain woodlands. These provide habitats for a variety of native animals including the river snail and native fish such as Murray cod, silver perch, golden perch, the olive perchlet and purple spotted gudgeon. River red gum, coolabah-black box and grey-box woodlands are also important plant communities in this catchment. The Namoi River system flows into the Barwon-Darling River system and provides important pathways for native fish and for improving water quality along the river system.
Details about Commonwealth environmental watering events and outcomes from previous years can be found in our Annual reports and Outcomes reports at publication section.
What do we want to achieve in 2012-13?
Consecutive years of widespread flooding and high river flows in the Namoi River valley have enabled the river channel and wetlands to be well connected. This has been important for the survival of wetland and riverbank native plant communities, improving water quality in the river system and for the successful breeding of native fish and waterbirds.
Commonwealth environmental watering in 2012-13 aims to maintain habitat within the river channel to continue building on this recovery process.
To achieve these environmental benefits we will continue to work closely with staff from state agencies, industry and landowners within the valley to ensure that the proposed water use options take into account operational and management considerations and local environmental conditions.
Some options for environmental water use in the Namoi River valley
Examples of proposed watering options in this valley during 2012-13 include providing river flows in:
- Lower Namoi River channel (very low inflows scenario) to contribute to environmental recovery by maintaining flowing water in channel to keep in-stream habitat wet, water quality safe and provide drought refuge for range of native plants and animals.
- Lower Namoi River channel (moderate-high inflows scenario) to contribute to supporting successful breeding of native fish, connecting the river system to its wetlands and improving water quality for native plants and animals.
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, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries NSW, NSW Office of Water), State Water Corporation, local water users, and landholders (through briefing the State Water Namoi-Peel Customer Service Committee).
Each water use 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, and helping to deliver the water and 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: email@example.com.
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