Environmental watering at Lowbidgee Floodplain
This video highlights the Australian Government's environmental water program on the Lowbidgee Floodplain, southern New South Wales.
James Maguire, NSW Dept. Environment, Climate Change and Water:
"We're on the Lowbidgee Floodplain on the Redbank System on the north side of the river at a property called Murrundi, which is the first property on the bottom end, which is fed out of the north Redbank channel.
"With these diversions over the last month, which have come from the Redbank channel, this is the first property that they've entered at the bottom end of the channel.
"It's had a really good result here, you can see all the spike rush growing. Out in this section here we've got swans calling and looking interested in breeding, ducks, cormorants, other water birds and then from here it lays into Springbank, which has got some similar looking swamp country in there, getting a great result there.
"Then into Glen Avon, through the forest in Glen Avon, down in to Moola, Auley, Riverleigh, and then Baupie where we'll be later.
"So we're looking at about 3000 hectares collectively from this property right down to the Balranald Common. The flow has been roughly in the order of 8200 megalitres over a period of about 20 days.
"The EWA (NSW Environmental Water Allowance) component out of that was 5000 megalitres. Prior to that we commenced with a supplementary diversion of 2000 megalitres that was primarily Federal Government supplementary access licence water and DECC (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water) supplementary as well, so there was about 2000 megalitres of supplementary, followed by 5000 megalitres of EWA and along side the supplementary in the early part was a Lowbidgee share, which is calculated to be roughly 1200 megalitres. So 8200 megalitres all up and approximately between 2500-3000 hectares of swamps and red gum forests watered."
Rachel Alderuccio "Murrundi" on the Lowbidgee Wetlands:
"What has been really effective about this flood is that we had Federal water come through to start with and then it was backed up with state water and for us it's just really encouraging to see the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder working together so effectively with the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. It has produced a really great outcome and that's what you can see here today—a wetland that's full of life and diversity and an area that hasn't been wet for five years and an area that really needed to have some water go across it in such an effective and well planned way."
James Maguire NSW Dept. Environment, Climate Change and Water:
"We're at Springbank swamp. Springbank's the second property from the bottom of north Redbank channel and this lovely big swamp here—you can see the tall spike rush starting to pop out of the water, that green shading, and it's got plenty of swans in it—and they're probably not far of starting to build a nest and lay some eggs in the coming weeks while the weather's nice and warm and they'll probably have their signets reared throughout the late part of Autumn and into Winter.
"A few hundred hectares here alone, just in this swamp and then this system connects up with Glen Avon.
"We're at Glen Avon, this is the Murrumbidgee River, it's flowing about 200 megalitres a day and what we'll see here is a difference in height level between this floodwater in Glen Avon Lagoon down to the Murrumbidgee River of about six metres.
"I'm walking up the riverbank now, it would have to be a good six to seven metres from the water level in the river, which is only flowing 200 megalitres a day to this water level here on the floodplain.
"This environmental water has come down over the last month or so and you can see why we're lucky to benefit from a weir pool because without the weir to raise the level up to 5.6 metres and run this diversion we'd basically just have an empty floodplain.
CREDITS: Vince Bucello Midstate Video Productions