Environmental watering in the Gwydir River Valley 2021-22
After a number of dry years, conditions are looking better in the Gwydir. Flows in late 2020 and early 2021 started the process of recovery, with further rainfall, flows and wetland flooding throughout 2021 and 2022. Vegetation is responding well to the flows. Delivering water for the environment during the dry times has helped native plants and animals to hang on. This also helped them to bounce back stronger when wetter conditions returned.
2021-22 Gwydir event updates
Mallowa Creek and Wetlands Update – May 2022
Water for the environment has been delivered to the Mallowa Creek and Wetlands throughout summer and autumn to help vegetation recover and build resilience following the recent drought. This water also had the additional benefit of providing foraging food for waterbirds that had bred in huge numbers across the Gwydir Wetlands.
Check out https://projects.users.earthengine.app/view/slideview-mallowa2 for an interactive swipe map (built by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority) showing the changes in the landscape from January and April, before and at the end of the environmental water delivery.
Surveys in December and January found several large waterbird colonies in and around the Gwydir Wetlands, including several threatened species. This is great news for the Gwydir Wetlands, as the last significant local breeding event was in 2012. This boom year has allowed waterbird numbers to start rebuilding across the Basin following the drought. Commonwealth and NSW water for the environment helped maintain low flow rates to assist waterbirds complete their breeding cycles, stop nest abandonment and restrict predation.