Environmental watering in the Gwydir catchment 2021-22
Commonwealth environmental watering actions outlined in the Commonwealth Environmental Water Water Management Plan 2021-22 having regard to Basin annual environmental watering priorities and the Basin-wide environmental watering strategy. This page will be updated as decisions on water use in the Gwydir for 2021-22 are made by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.
A summary of previous Commonwealth environmental water use in the Gwydir is available at history.
|Watering action||Status of Commonwealth action|
|Environmental watering in the Gwydir River Valley||Dependent on river flows|
Environmental watering in the Gwydir River Valley
Status: Dependent on river flows
About the watering
A range of potential watering actions have been identified for the 2021-22 water year depending on how conditions eventuate over spring and summer. As of November 2021, up to 32,112 ML of Commonwealth water for the environment has been approved for use in conjunction with NSW water in the Gwydir catchment if required.
If conditions continue to be wet
Current forecasts suggest there is likely to be natural flows in the Gwydir catchment across spring and summer. A wet summer will increase the likelihood of a larger colonial waterbird breeding event. If this eventuates, water for the environment may be used to support the birds to breed and fledge.
If conditions become moderate
More moderate conditions will allow environmental water to help with the recovery of wetland and floodplain vegetation, improving condition in the Gingham, lower Gwydir, Mehi and Mallowa Creek. This depending on how conditions evolve and where the need is greatest. If natural flows trigger colonial waterbird breeding and conditions become moderate, water for the environment may be provided to help support the breeding event.
If conditions turn dry
If there is a return to hot and dry conditions over summer, water for the environment may be needed to:
- maintain the condition of core wetlands,
- provide replenishment flows to waterholes and refuge pools if extended cease to flow periods occur,
- improve connection between the Gwydir and the Barwon River to support fish movement, and/or to
- mitigate water quality issues during prolonged dry periods.
Working with NSW
Watering actions in the Gwydir are managed in collaboration with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Releases from Copeton Dam are coordinated by WaterNSW(and where possible, timed with other releases) to minimise losses.
Planning of releases also incorporates advice from the NSW Gwydir Environmental Water Advisory Group.
For more information, please contact CEWO’s Local Engagement Officers:
- Jane Humphries – Moree 0437 141 495
- Jason Wilson – Walgett 0418 210 389
- Sally Dickinson – Goondiwindi 0448 759 650
For further information on the Gwydir:
Mehi River at Moree, September 2020. Photo: Michael Wrathall, CEWO