National Wetlands Update 2012
Issue No. 20, February 2012
Construction of the Gingham pipeline and restoration of core areas of the Gwydir Wetlands, NSW
Daryl Albertson and Jeff Hillan, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, and Neil Eigeland, NSW Office of Water
Wetlands on the property Glendara which are now benefiting as a result of the Gingham Channel restoration project (J. Hillan)
Completion of the Gingham domestic pipeline concludes a major infrastructure project providing a reliable domestic water supply for landholder homesteads. Significantly, it has also provided the opportunity to rehabilitate the Gingham watercourse, a component of the Gwydir Wetlands, located north-west of Moree in northern New South Wales.
The $2.9 million pipeline project was jointly funded under the Rivers Environmental Restoration Program (RERP) and the NSW Wetland Recovery Program (WRP). It involved the installation of 240 kilometres of pipe, 65 tanks and three pumping stations.
The new pipeline has greatly reduced water lost to evaporation and infiltration, and provides a reliable water supply for local homestead use. A total of 958 megalitres has been made available for use on wetland areas with water savings from the project.
Through RERP, a further $285 000 was invested in rehabilitation of the Gingham watercourse, which has resulted in water flowing to wetland areas that had not received any significant water since 1998.
As a result of reconnecting old flow paths, a number of key wetland bird species have been attracted to the newly watered areas and have successfully fledged their young. More than 3000 hectares of core wetlands, including Ramsar listed wetlands, endangered ecological communities and colonial waterbird breeding sites, benefit from improved flooding extent and duration.
Projects like this demonstrate that with the basis of sound planning we can conserve and restore wetlands in the Gwydir Valley – to the benefit of the community and environment.
The recently completed RERP and WRP were jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Australian Government's Water for the Future - Water Smart Australia Program and aim to arrest the decline of wetlands through water recovery and effective management of environmental water.
For further information and the final report visit:
A trencher working on the Gingham domestic pipeline, May 2010 (G. Pankhurst).