Environmental issues

Water

Gwydir Environmental Contingency Allowance Operations Advisory Committee

The Gwydir Environmental Contingency Allowance Operations Advisory Committee provides advice on managing environmental water in the Gwydir catchment. Sources of environmental water include the Environmental Contingency Allowance (ECA) under the Water Sharing Plan for the Gwydir Regulated River Water Source 2002, adaptive environmental water held by the Office of Environment and Heritage and allocations made available from entitlements held by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.

The Gwydir Water Sharing Plan establishes a planned environmental water rule that sets aside an ECA of up to 45,000ML in Copeton Dam, which accrues at the same rate as general security entitlement. The use and management of this ECA aims to maximise the environmental benefits for the Gwydir Regulated River Water Source. In preparing the Gwydir Annual Watering Plan (called an annual release plan in the water sharing plan), the advisory committee must consider the following nine objectives:

  1. To support a colonially nesting native bird breeding event that has been initiated in the Gwydir Wetlands following natural flood inundation.
  2. To provide additional inundation in the Gingham and Lower Gwydir Wetlands during or following periods of extended dry climatic conditions.
  3. To provide inundation of higher level benches in the river reaches between Copeton Dam and the Gwydir River at Gravesend
  4. To provide short-term inundation of the wetlands to promote germination of hyacinth as part of a weed management strategy involving a wetting and drying cycle.
  5. To provide flows for environmental purposes in effluent streams.
  6. To support native fish populations and habitat.
  7. To support invertebrates and other aquatic species.
  8. To support threatened species.
  9. To maintain aquatic ecosystem health.

Who are the members of the advisory committee?


Membership includes representatives from the:

  • Aboriginal community
  • Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority
  • Gingham Watercourse landholders
  • Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association
  • Independent environmental group
  • Independent scientists
  • Department of Primary Industries
  • Lower Gwydir Water Users Association
  • NSW Office of Water
  • Office of Environment and Heritage
  • State Water
  • Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (observer status)

The Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority chairs the advisory committee.

Contacting the advisory committee

Daryl Albertson
Office of Environment and Heritage
PO Box 494, Armidale NSW 2350
Telephone: (02) 6773 7004
Email: daryl.albertson@environment.nsw.gov.au

Page last updated: 06 March 2013