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Environmental watering in the Gwydir wetlands 2013-14


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.