Reaching further across the floodplain
Since 2015, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (CEWO) has been delivering water for the environment to Banrock Station in South Australia. Banrock Station covers 1,000 hectares of critically endangered Mallee woodlands, with wetland lagoons comprising around a quarter of this area. The Station also hosts working vineyards and a wine and wetland centre owned by Accolade Wines Ltd.
Earlier this year, new infrastructure was installed at Banrock Station’s Wigley Reach, to allow water to reach a larger area of the floodplain than was previously possible. The new regulator enables wetland managers to control and maintain water at target depths before allowing it to flow on to neighbouring sites downstream.
The Wigley Reach regulator project could not have been achieved without collaboration between CEWO, Accolade Wines, the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board and funding support from the Commonwealth’s National Landcare Program. With the regulator now in place, water for the environment can be delivered to the site to benefit the many native species that call Banrock Station home.
With the Wiggley connector regulator now in place (as indicated on map), water for the environment can reach a larger area of the floodplain than was previously possible (green area). The blue area shows how far the water reached prior to the installation of the regulator.
Bringing wetlands to life
The wetlands of Banrock Station, including Wigley Reach, support over 300 plant and animal species. Following delivery of water for the environment, wetland managers have seen an improvement in the growth and survival of Black box trees, as well as the provision of crucial habitat for the threatened Southern bell frog.
Monitoring by wetland managers and local volunteers has also detected impressive increases in Regent parrot foraging and breeding. These threatened birds rely on two habitat types for survival – nesting habitat in mature River red gums within 20m of water and feeding habitat in nearby Mallee country. With red gums dotted along the Station’s intact Mallee woodlands, water for the environment is helping provide the perfect conditions for native plants and wildlife to thrive at Banrock Station.