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Environmental watering in the Edward-Wakool River System 2013-14

Status

3 December 2013: This action is in progress (Tuppal Creek).

About the watering

Edward-Wakool River System, October 2013. Photo by Jane McClintock (CEWO)

Up to 45 GL of Commonwealth environmental water has been made available for use in the Edward-Wakool River System in NSW. Environmental flows will be made available between spring 2013 and autumn 2014 and may involve the delivery of environmental water to:

  • permanent watercourses such as the Yallakool/Wakool system, Colligen/Niemur system and the Edward River
  • ephemeral creeks such as Tuppal, Gwynnes, Jimaringle and Cockran creeks.

Environmental flows will contribute to achieving the following expected outcomes:

  • increase movement, condition, reproduction and recruitment of native fish, such as Murray cod
  • provide end of system flows and increase hydrological connectivity in ephemeral streams
  • maintain/improve vegetation condition, including fringing vegetation and emergent/submerged aquatic plants
  • maintain/improve water quality within the system, particularly dissolved oxygen, salinity and pH
  • support breeding, recruitment and habitat requirements of a range of native animals, in particular frogs.

The timing and duration of flows delivered will be dependent on the occurrence of opportunities to deliver environmental flows (e.g. natural cues, water quality, capacity to deliver water and expected outcomes).

Environmental water delivery will be managed by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, in cooperation with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, Murray Catchment Management Authority, State Water Corporation, the Murray Darling Basin Authority, and Murray Irrigation Limited.

Edward-Wakool River System, October 2013. Photo by Jane McClintock (CEWO)

Local community groups such as the Wakool River Association, and Edward-Wakool Angling Association, have been part of planning for these environmental flows. The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office works with the Murray Catchment Management Authority and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to seek local knowledge and community input to assist in planning and identifying opportunities to deliver environmental flows for native fish in the Edward-Wakool River system.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office has engaged Charles Sturt University to undertake a monitoring program in the Edward-Wakool system in 2013-14 in collaboration with the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Murray Catchment Management Authority, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the Edward-Wakool Angling Association and the Wakool River Association. The program will build on previous monitoring undertaken in the system since 2010.