Water Matters - Issue 30

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2013

July

Water saving project for Nimmie-Caira

Wetlands and floodplains in the lower reaches of the Murrumbidgee River in NSW will be protected and restored under the Nimmie-Caira Project which will deliver a long term average annual yield of 173 000 megalitres of water to the environment each year.

The Nimmie-Caira area covers 84 417 hectares in the Lower Murumbidgee floodplain, east of the township of Balranald.

The project will provide 381 000 megalitres of Murrumbidgee supplementary (Lowbidgee) water entitlements for the benefit of the environment, including the environmental watering of around 32 000 hectares of water dependent vegetation such as red gum and black box communities and sensitive lignum wetlands. It will also provide water for rookeries for several species of migratory water birds and provide critical habitat for the endangered Southern Bell Frog.

 Nigel Evans, DSEWPaC

Royal spoonbill. Photo: Nigel Evans, DSEWPaC

 Nigel Evans, DSEWPaC

Nimmie-Caira landscape. Photo: Nigel Evans, DSEWPaC

Water release in the Lachlan River system

 Daniel Rothenfluh, CEWO

Moon Moon swamp. Photo: Daniel Rothenfluh, CEWO

The lower Lachlan River and surrounding wetlands are the recent recipients of Commonwealth environmental watering.

The water released during June and July this year is helping to improve the overall health of the river system located south-west of Hillston, including the Lower Lachlan, Cumbung, Moon Moon and Baconian swamps as well as Lake Ita and Lake Waljeers.

Up to 15 000 hectares of river red gums as well as black box, lignum and other wetland vegetation that provide important habitat for wildlife have been targeted to benefit from the water release by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

For further information see Commonwealth Environmental Water Office - Lachlan Catchment page

On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program round four

Photo of land being irrigated

Funding applications are now open for round four of the Australian Government's On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program.

The program assists irrigators within the southern connected system of the Murray-Darling Basin to modernise their on-farm irrigation infrastructure while returning water savings to the environment.

Organisations that have close relationships with irrigator communities including irrigation infrastructure operators, catchment management authorities, commodity or agricultural industry groups, and regional irrigation bodies, are invited to apply.

Projects seeking funding under the program must demonstrate an ability to secure a long-term sustainable future for irrigation communities, secure real improvements in river health, deliver substantial and lasting returns of water to the environment and represent good value for money.

The closing time and date for funding applications will be 4.00 pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time) on Monday, 14 October 2013.

More information about the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program including the funding guidelines and application form is available at www.environment.gov.au/water/policy-programs/srwui/irrigation-efficiency/index.html or by calling 1800 218 478.

Request for tender: Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office has released a request for tender for the Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project, which will see the development and implementation of five year Monitoring and Evaluation Plans that examine the ecological response to Commonwealth environmental water delivery at each of the following selected areas within the Murray-Darling Basin:

  • junction of the Warrego and Darling rivers
  • Gwydir river system
  • Lachlan river system
  • Murrumbidgee river system
  • Edward-Wakool river system
  • Goulburn River
  • Lower Murray River.

The closing time for tendering is 2pm, 28 August 2013.

Any questions about the tender or long term monitoring should be submitted in writing to james.smeeth@environment.gov.au.

For more information see: Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project on AusTender

Water Holders and River Operators Coordination Forum

The Water Holders and River Operators Coordination Forum was held on Thursday 25 July 2013 in Canberra. The forum, jointly hosted by the Murray Darling Basin Authority and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, provided the opportunity for water holders and river operators to meet and discuss ways in which they can coordinate environmental water delivery in the southern connected Basin.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, David Papps said it was a highly constructive forum, with strong participation by all water holders and river operators who discussed operational opportunities to coordinate management and delivery throughout the coming year to maximise environmental benefits.

Jody Swirepik of the MDBA also considered the day a success, in particular the willingness of water managers to come together around watering events in major valleys and if necessary as a group (as required) throughout year to collaborate on watering actions.