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History - Macquarie

Environmental watering in the catchment in previous years

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2014-15

Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Macquarie River and Marshes 10,000
Lower Macquarie catchment 0

Environmental watering in the Macquarie River and Marshes

Status

3 February 2015: This action has been completed.

About the watering

Lignum at Pillicawarrina, Macquarie Marshes, 2014

Between 5 October and 12 December 2014, 28,500 ML of environmental water was delivered to the Macquarie River and the North and South Macquarie Marshes. This included 10,000 ML of Commonwealth environmental water in conjunction with up to nearly 18,500 ML of NSW environmental water.

This watering action was managed in cooperation with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the NSW Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries, NSW Office of Water, and Water NSW.

The purpose of the watering action was to contribute to baseflows and freshes in the Macquarie River and Marshes. It also contributed to three Annual Basin Priorities:

  1. Improving native fish habitat within the Macquarie River below Burrendong Dam by restoring a more natural flow regime and managing cold water pollution.
  2. Native fish in the northern Basin: Improving survival of native fish populations by enhancing and protecting dry period refuge habitat in the northern Basin.
  3. Waterbird refuge: Maintaining waterbird habitat, including refuge sites, and food sources, to support waterbird populations across the Murray-Darling Basin. Supporting waterbird breeding, where feasible.

Supplementary Commonwealth environmental water use in the lower Macquarie catchment

Status

30 June 2015: Action not implemented – no supplementary event occurred.

About the watering

The purpose of the water use is to maintain the ecological health and resilience of assets in the lower Macquarie River catchment.

Subject to availability, up to 6,292 ML of supplementary Commonwealth environmental water will be used to augment unregulated base to fresh flows in the Macquarie Marshes and effluent creeks from July 2014 through to 30 June 2015.

This watering action will contribute to the following expected outcomes:

  • maintain native plant community condition and reproduction
  • promote waterbird survival, condition, reproduction and fledging
  • promote hydrological connectivity.

This watering action is being managed in cooperation with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Water NSW with local community advice from the Macquarie and Cudgegong Environmental Flow Reference Group.

2013-14

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2013-14
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Macquarie Marshes 10 000
Lower Macquarie catchment 0
Total in 2013-14 10 000

Environmental watering in the Macquarie Marshes

Status

30 June 2014: This action has been completed.

About the watering

A Buff-banded Rail in the Monkeygar wetland, Macquarie Marshes, 2013

The purpose of this environmental watering action was to maintain the ecological health and resilience of the Macquarie Marshes. This included contributing to meeting the basic annual water requirements of native marsh plant communities such as water couch, reeds, typha, spike rush and club rush, and providing freshes in support of native fish reproduction.

Up to 10,000 ML of Commonwealth environmental water in conjunction with up to 50,000 ML of NSW environmental water contributed to a two stage delivery, namely:

  • Up to 51,000 ML, comprising 7,500 ML of Commonwealth and 43,500 ML of NSW environmental water, delivered over a three month period commencing in mid July 2013 with the intention of inundating permanent and semi permanent wetlands in the North and South Macquarie Marshes Nature reserve; and
  • Up to 9,000 ML, comprising 2,500 ML of Commonwealth and 6,500 ML of NSW environmental water, delivered to the Gum Cowal-Terrigal system in the East Macquarie Marshes area over a two month period starting in September to provide flows to semi permanent wetlands and riparian vegetation. This delivery was intended to coincide with warmer water temperatures to also provide hydrologic connectivity and conditions for native fish to access breeding habitat at key reproduction times.

This watering action was managed in cooperation with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW State Water with local community advice from the Macquarie and Cudgegong Environmental Flow Reference Group .

See also: NSW media release - Environmental Water released to Macquarie Marshes

Supplementary Commonwealth environmental water use in the lower Macquarie catchment

Status

30 June 2014: Action not implemented – no supplementary event occurred.

About the watering

The purpose of the water use is to maintain the ecological health and resilience of assets in the lower Macquarie River catchment.

Subject to availability, supplementary Commonwealth environmental water will be used to augment unregulated base to fresh flows in the Macquarie Marshes and effluent creeks from July 2013 through to 30 June 2015. This watering action will contribute to the following expected outcomes:

  • maintain native plant community condition and reproduction
  • promote waterbird survival, condition, reproduction and fledging
  • promote hydrological connectivity.

This watering action is being managed in cooperation with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW State Water with local community advice from the Macquarie and Cudgegong Environmental Flow Reference Group.

2012-13

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2012-13
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Macquarie River and Marshes 100 000
Total in 2012-13 100 000

Environmental watering in the Macquarie Marshes in 2012-13

Status

15 February 2013: This watering action has been completed.

About the watering

Up to 100 GL of Commonwealth environmental water, in conjunction with additional environmental water supplied by the New South Wales Government, was delivered to the Macquarie Marshes as part of this watering action. The watering action aimed to contribute to:

  • maintaining adequate water levels across approximately 50,000 hectares of native wetland plant communities, including river red gums, to contribute to the ongoing regeneration of these communities that, in turn, provide habitat for many native animals
  • restoring the Marshes, which are recognised as a wetland of international importance
  • maintaining the connection of low-lying water courses on the floodplain to improve water quality and allow native plants and animals to move between different areas
  • providing the type of flow required to support the habitat needs and breeding sites of migratory shorebirds and waterbirds such as glossy ibis, Australian white ibs, straw-necked ibis, intermediate egrets and rufus night herons.

Delivery of this environmental watering action was managed by the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, in cooperation with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, the Macquarie and Cudgegong Environmental Flow Reference Group, Central West Catchment Management Authority, and State Water Corporation.

Wilgara Wetlands, Macquarie Marshes

2011-12

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2011-12
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Macquarie Marshes 35 000
Macquarie Marshes 5 000
Total in 2011-12 40 000

Environmental watering in the Macquarie Marshes 2011-12

Status

Completed

About the watering

40 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water was delivered to the Macquarie Marshes in 2011-12.

Commonwealth environmental water was delivered in conjunction with approximately 110 gigalitres of water supplied by the New South Wales Government.

The purpose of the watering action was to build upon the improved wetland condition which resulted from the inundation of 2010-11. In addition the action aimed to improve system connectivity, and support habitat for a wide variety of wetland dependent species, including threatened species and migratory birds. Delivery of Commonwealth environmental water for this action commenced in early September 2011. In December 2011, egret (Ardea modesta; an EPBC listed migratory species) nests were reported in the Macquarie Marshes as a result of the watering action. By late January 2012, reports had been provided that the breeding event had successfully completed.

The watering action was managed in cooperation with the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, New South Wales Office of Water, NSW State Water Corporation and the Macquarie Environmental Flows Reference Group.

2010-11

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2010-11
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Macquarie Marshes 1 888
Macquarie Marshes 25 000
Total in 2010-11 26 888