Environmental Water released to Macquarie Marshes

Media release: 22 July 2013

Environmental water deliveries have started reaching Marebone Weir near the Macquarie Marshes to meet the needs of the Macquarie River and the Macquarie Marshes wetlands.

It is the beginning of a three-month long release to the southern and northern Marshes over winter and early spring, with a watering of the eastern marshes to commence in September and extending until October.

This flow aims to increase the resilience of permanent and semi-permanent wetlands including fringing river red gum woodland, water couch meadows and reed beds in the Macquarie Marshes.

The total amount of water currently planned for use is 60,000 megalitres and includes contributions from general security accounts of the NSW and Commonwealth governments.

The release was recommended by the Macquarie and Cudgegong Environmental Flows Reference Group (EFRG) whose members include representatives from landholder, industry, conservation and government groups.

Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Wetland and Rivers Conservation Officer, Tim Hosking, said that the release will meet the needs of a range of features of the Macquarie Marshes.

“The recommendations of the EFRG will be followed, with a relatively small release compared to the last three years as we still haven’t had the rain that would push our water availability into the next higher level. Also, the three years of flows and inundations has meant that the majority of River Red Gum and Black Box communities have had their environmental water requirements met and a smaller event such as this one will provide for those areas of the Marshes with an annual water requirement.

“We’ll be monitoring the water delivery both in the Marshes and checking water availability in Burrendong Dam as the event continues and adaptively managing flow deliveries if conditions change. Like all general security water users, we’re dependent upon flows into Burrendong for our allocations, so fingers crossed for some winter rains,” Mr Hosking said.

Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps said the Commonwealth was pleased to be contributing to this water delivery.

“The 60,000ML will deliver environmental water to a range of inner-floodplain vegetation such as common reed beds and water couch meadows while supporting migratory waterbirds and native fish and keeping waterbird colony sites healthy in readiness for the next big wet,” he said

Further information on general environmental water management or for the particular environmental flow event can be found on the NSW OEH website at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/environmentalwater/envwatermacquarieupdate.htm

Contact: Jacki Roberts

Page last updated: 07 March 2014