Commonwealth Environmental Water Office banner

Environmental watering in the Lower Namoi River 2013-14

Status

31 October 2013: This action is in yet to commence.

About the watering

Up to 7,878 ML of Commonwealth environmental water will contribute to in-stream freshes and flow variability between September 2013 and June 2014.

Photo

Murray cod. Photo: Gunther Schmida © MDBA

Commonwealth environmental water will be used to contribute to maintaining the ecological health and resilience of the Namoi River system. The environmental objectives of the proposed watering action are to:

  • support native fish movement, carbon/nutrient cycling, and primary production for aquatic ecosystem processes; and
  • support native aquatic species (including fish and invertebrates) condition and movement, and fish larval abundance.

Access to good quality in-stream habitat is important to improving the Namoi River native fish community to good health. Since 2007 a range of restoration activities have been undertaken along the river, and include revegetation, fencing, removal of fish barriers and re-snagging. Most of these works were undertaken as part of the Namoi Demonstration Reach project , a collaborative project between the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Namoi Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

Photo of waterway

Namoi catchment: Neal Foster, NSW Office of Water

Consecutive years of widespread flooding and high river flows caused by above average rainfall in the Namoi River valley have enabled the river channel and wetlands to be well connected. This has been important for the survival of wetland and riverbank native plant communities, improving water quality in the river system and for the successful breeding of native fish and waterbirds.

The use of Commonwealth environmental water in the Namoi catchment will be managed by NSW State Water working together with scientists and staff from the NSW DPI (Fisheries), NSW Office of Water, Namoi CMA and Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.