Commonwealth Environmental Water Office banner

History - Gwydir

Environmental watering in the catchment in previous years

Show all Hide all

2013-14

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2013-14
Watering action Status of Commonwealth action
Gwydir Wetlands Yet to commence
Mallowa Wetlands Completed
Mehi River Completed
Carole Creek Completed

Environmental watering in the Gwydir wetlands 2013-14

Status

28 October 2013: This action is yet to commence.

About the watering

Up to 25 GL of Commonwealth environmental water may be used to augment unregulated flows and inundation of the Gwydir Wetlands between September 2013 and April 2014. The total volume of Commonwealth environmental water used will depend on seasonal conditions and rainfall.

This watering action will support the ongoing recovery of the wetlands and build resilience by contributing to:

  • maintaining the condition of permanent and semi-permanent wetland native plant communities
  • promoting waterbird survival, condition, reproduction and fledgling
  • promoting fish movement, nutrient and carbon cycling, and primary production.

If a bird breeding event commences, this environmental water may also be used to contribute to maintain reproduction and recruitment for colonially nesting water birds in the wetlands.

Native woodlands in the Gwydir wetlands

Native woodlands in the Gwydir wetlands Photo: Clare d'Arcy © CEWO

The wetlands contain native plant communities such as marsh club rush, water couch, river cooba and lignum. On the floodplain, coolibah woodlands fringe the wetlands and form extensive woodlands in a number of areas. These plants have many of their natural processes, such as flowering, seeding and germination, determined by the amount of water that is available to them.

These plant communities provide habitat to tens of thousands of waterbirds, including the intermediate egret, little egret, nankeen night heron, glossy ibis, straw-necked ibis and cormorants, that breed throughout the wetlands. The wetlands also provide habitat for many types of frogs, fish and insects that, in turn, are food for the nesting waterbirds.

The watering action was made possible by the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders including the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, State Water Corporation, local environmental water advisory committee and landholders.

Environmental watering in the Mallowa Wetlands 2013-14

Status

31 March 2014: This action is completed.

About the watering

Mallowa Wetlands, Gwydir catchment. Photo by Simon Banks (CEWO)

Up to 15 GL of Commonwealth environmental water may be used to provide a third successive year of inundation in the Mallowa Wetlands between September 2013 and April 2014. This watering action will support the ongoing recovery of the wetlands and build resilience by contributing to:

  • maintaining the condition of permanent and semi-permanent wetland native plant communities (e.g. water couch, spike rush, marsh club rush and lignum ;
  • promoting waterbird survival, condition, reproduction and fledgling
  • promoting fish movement, nutrient and carbon cycling, and primary production.

The Mallowa Wetlands comprises 1,642 hectares of native coolibah, lignum and river cooba plant communities. These plants have many of their natural processes, such as flowering, seeding and germination, determined by the amount of water that is available to them.

The wetlands provide valuable bird breeding habitat and food for a diverse range of waterbirds, including jabiru, brolga, egret and ibis, and are an important link to the range of habitats provided by the greater Gwydir Wetlands. As well as supporting a number of different types of birds that are listed under international conservation agreements.

The Mallowa Creek system also provides habitat for many different types of threatened native birds. These include Grey-crowned babbler, hooded robin, brown treecreeper, bush stone curlew, square-tailed kite, glossy black cockatoo, Australian bustard, diamond firetail and grey falcon.

This watering action has been made possible by the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders including the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, State Water Corporation, the local environmental water advisory committee and landholders.

See also: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage media release Environmental Water Release to Mallowa Creek, Gwydir valley - 27 September 2013

Mallowa Wetlands, Gwydir catchment. Photo by Simon Banks (CEWO)

Environmental watering in the Mehi River and Carole Creek 2013-14

Status

31 March 2014: This action is complete.

About the watering

The Mehi River, Gwydir catchment.

The Mehi River, Gwydir catchment.
Photo: Clare d'Arcy © CEWO

For the first time environmental water is being provided to the Mehi River and to Carole Creek in the Gwydir catchment to provide a greater diversity of flows to maintain habitat for native animals, particularly native fish.

Up to 15 GL and 5 GL of Commonwealth environmental water may be used in the Mehi River and Carole Creek respectively. The flows, targeting the Mehi River downstream of Combadello Weir and Carole Creek downstream of the off-take, are expected to reach their peak around 28 October 2013.

These watering actions will add to in-stream freshes with a slower, more natural rate of recession and are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

  • supporting fish movement, carbon/nutrient cycling, and primary production processes; and
  • supporting the condition of native aquatic animal communities (including native fish and invertebrates) and native fish larval abundance.

These watering actions have been made possible by the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders including the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries), NSW Office of Water, State Water, the University of New England, local environmental water advisory committee and landholders.

See also: CEWO Media Release Environmental water for the Gwydir's native fish

2012-13

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2012-13
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Mallowa Wetlands 5 000
Gwydir Wetlands 22 709
Total in 2012-13 27 709

Environmental watering in the Mallowa Wetlands 2012-13

Jabiru, Gwydir catchment. Photo: Clare d'Arcy © CEWO

Status

30 June 2013: This action has been completed.

About the watering

This was the first time environmental water was provided to the Mallowa Wetlands. This watering action contributed to support the ongoing restoration of native wetland plant communities and maintain habitat for native animals. It occurred over summer which was in keeping with the natural seasonality of river flows and the water needs of environmental assets in the Gwydir catchment.

This watering action was made possible by the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders including the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, State Water Corporation, the local environmental water advisory committee and landholders.

Environmental watering in the Gwydir wetlands 2012-13

Status

30 June 2013: This action has been completed.

About the watering

Straw-necked ibis chicks. Photo: Andrew Huxham © CEWO

Environmental water was provided to the Gwydir Wetlands to support the ongoing restoration of native wetland plant communities and maintain habitat for native animals.

The watering action occurred over summer which was in keeping with the natural seasonality of river flows and the water needs of environmental assets in the Gwydir catchment.

This environmental watering action was made possible by the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders including the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, State Water Corporation, local environmental water advisory committee and landholders.

2011-12

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2011-12
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Lower Gwydir and Gingham watercourses 1 206
Total in 2011-12 1 206

2010-11

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2010-11
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Gwydir wetlands 3 056
Gwydir wetlands 10 000
Total in 2010-11 13 056