In 2020 the CEWO ran a pilot project to rebuild waterbird habitat at the internationally signficant Narran Lakes (Dharriwaa to the Yuwaalaraay/ / Euahlayi First Nations people). Four water licence holders in the Lower Balonne river system were offered reimbursment via an ad-hoc grant to not pump water they were legally entitled to pump from the Narran River. One water-licence holder accepted this offer. This allowed more water from Lower Balonne flows in 2020 to remain in the river and reach the lakes. This water helped revive some critical habitat for waterbirds at Narran Lakes. However, the seven years of prior drought meant some plants that waterbirds breed upon did not respond as well as we hoped. For this reason, the CEWO is running a second grant in 2021 to continue to rebuild waterbird habitat at Narran Lakes.
The pilot was an important opportunity to learn. An independent review of the pilot has been completed to capture learnings and to identify improvements which could be implemented for subsequent events.
Lignum at Back Lake in June 2020
The diversity of habitat types around Narran Lakes
Core documents from the pilot project:
- Commonwealth overland flow licences Lower Balonne
- Intergovernmental Agreement on Implementing Water Reform in the Murray Darling Basin
- A comparative assessment of event-based mechanisms for providing water to the Narran Lakes
- Event-based mechanisms in the Lower Balonne: Implementation Overview
- Purchase of water for Narran Lakes Overview – April 2015