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History - Lachlan

Environmental watering in the catchment in previous years

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2014-15

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2014-15
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Lachlan River system, including floodplain 5 000
Lower Lachlan Swamps 0
Lower Lachlan System bird breeding contingency 0
Total in 2014-15 5 000

Environmental watering in the Lachlan River

Status

This action is completed.

About the watering

This action protected tributary inflows (Boorowa River, Belubula River and Mandagery Creek) from extraction in the mid Lachlan River downstream to Booligal Weir. Up to 15 000 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was approved for provision into the Lachlan River, and NSW RiverBank water was also allocated to support this action.

The Lachlan River provides critical habitat for a number of state and Commonwealth listed threatened fish species such as silver perch, Macquarie perch, Murray cod and trout cod. This action contributed to improved outcomes for native fish in the mid to lower Lachlan River by protecting natural inflows from the tributaries in Spring-Summer. Inflows from these unregulated tributaries provide important seasonal and chemical cues for native fish to migrate and spawn.

This action commenced on 20 August 2014 and ended on approximately 10 October 2015, 5 000 ML of Commonwealth environmental water, and 821 ML of NSW RiverBank water was protected from extraction in the Lachlan River.

The Lachlan Riverine Working Group, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the WaterNSW, the NSW Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office contributed to the development and implementation of this watering action.

2013-14

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2013-14
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Lachlan River system, including floodplain 23 017
Total in 2013-14 23 017

2012-13

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2012-13
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Booligal Wetlands 223
Lachlan River system, including floodplain 50 837
Total in 2012-13 51 060

Environmental watering in the Lower Lachlan Swamps

Status

31 March 2014: This action is completed.

About the watering

Environmental water was provided to the floodplain and wetland areas downstream of Booligal targeting the Lower Lachlan Swamps; principally Lake Waljeers and Peppermint Swamp.

This action was aimed at:

  • supporting the ongoing environmental recovery following the 2012 floods
  • improving the condition of native plants communities, particularly river red gum communities, lignum stands and reed bed areas, and their ability to undertake many of their natural processes, such as flowering, seeding and germination
  • building resilience in the Lower Lachlan system so that the environment can survive through dry periods and the impacts of drought
  • providing in-stream benefits in the Lachlan River channel and fringing river areas as well as connecting the river to its lakes, creeks and wetlands which provides the opportunity for plants, animals and nutrients to move to new areas.

The release of up to 75,000 ML of Commonwealth environmental water and up to 15,000 ML of New South Wales held environmental water into the Lachlan River commenced on 7 June 2013 from Lake Brewster and was completed until mid July. The action also provided flows to several other important areas in the Lower Lachlan system including the Great Cumbung Swamp, Muggabah Creek and Moon Moon Swamp.

The Lachlan Riverine Working Group, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the State Water Corporation and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office contributed to the development and implementation of this watering action.

See also: Media Release - Water flows to continue the recovery of the lower Lachlan wetlands.

2011-12

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2011-12
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Merrimajeel Creek 5 006
Muggabah Creek 3 585
Merrowie Creek (Tarwong Lakes) 11 568
Total in 2011-12 20 159

Muggabah Creek

3.9 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water was made available to provide flows through Muggabah Creek near Booligal in the Lachlan catchment.

These environmental flows were delivered between August and November 2011, along with an additional 1.3 gigalitres supplied by the New South Wales Government. This action built on previous environmental watering activities in the Merrimajeel system and has taken advantage of 2010-11 inflows. In addition, the action aimed to improve system connectivity, support wetland vegetation and provide habitat for bird species. Observations in January 2012 indicate that native vegetation has responded well and has provided improved habitat for a wide range of water birds including glossy ibis and egrets.

The action was developed by working with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the Lachlan Riverine Working Group.

Merrimajeel Creek

4.9 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water was delivered to Merrimajeel Creek. Delivery of this water for the environment was carried out from June 2011 to September 2011 and was delivered with 2.5 gigalitres from the New South Wales Government.

The purpose of the watering action was to improve system connectivity, support habitat for a wide variety of wetland dependent species, including threatened species and migratory birds. Reported observations after the water delivery indicated the presence of a range of water birds including egrets, spoonbills, shelducks and swans, along with positive vegetation responses.

The watering action was managed in cooperation with the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, New South Wales Office of Water, State Water and Lachlan Riverine Working Group, as well as landholders and community members.

8 June 2011 - Merrowie Creek

Up to 14.6 gigalitres of environmental water has been made available by the Commonwealth to provide river flows in Merrowie Creek. Delivery of this water for the environment was carried out from June 2011 to October 2011 and was delivered with 4 gigalitres from the New South Wales Government .

The purpose of the watering action was to improve system connectivity, support habitat for a wide variety of wetland dependent species, including threatened species and migratory birds. The action sought to do this by:

  • increasing system connectivity down Merrowie Creek and provide wetland habitat, in particular lignum, for colonial nesting birds
  • creating conditions conducive to breeding activity and subsequent population recruitment for Sloane's froglet on the Merrowie Creek system, and
  • prolonging the inundation of Lake Tarwong, to improve the health of river red gum, nitre goosefoot, macrophytes and floating plant communities, which provide habitat for water bird species such as freckled duck and blue-billed duck, great egret and the sharp-tailed sandpiper.

The watering action was managed in cooperation with the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, New South Wales Office of Water, State Water and Lachlan Riverine Working Group, as well as landholders and community members.

2010-11

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2010-11
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Merrimajeel Creek - Booligal Swamp 1 573
Merrowie Creek - Tarwong Lakes 2 145
Merrowie Creek 3 051
Merrimajeel Creek - Murrumbidgil Swamp 252
Total in 2010-11 7 021