Environmental Water Release to Mallowa Creek, Gwydir valley

Media release: 27 September 2013

Following community input environmental water releases have begun in the Mallowa Creek in the Gwydir River valley to support the health of wetland vegetation and improve the overall condition of the creek system.

Office of Environment and Heritage Team Leader of Environmental Water for North West Region, Debbie Love said the local environmental water advisory group and the Mallowa landholders and water users have assisted with the detailed planning for the delivery of water.

“The event is a priority action in the current annual environmental water plan for the Gwydir and a great demonstration of local people being empowered to help look after their local environment and communities,” said Ms Love.

“Up to 15,000 megalitres of Commonwealth environmental water will be provided to the Mallowa Creek system this year,” she said.

“This is the second year in a row we will deliver environmental water to the Mallowa Wetlands, following natural flooding in February 2012, which will promote growth of wetland vegetation such as river red gum woodlands, water couch and spike rush meadows.

“The environmental water delivery is critical. While the natural floods which followed the drought started the restoration of native plant communities in the wetlands, additional environmental watering events will ensure the health and resilience of the wetlands is improved, so they are better able to withstand future dry periods.

“A number of small spring flows will be provided throughout the length of the creek system to meet the water requirements of approximately 1500 hectares of remnant wetlands.

“These flows aim to build on the positive outcomes from previous watering and to provide habitat suitable for a broad range of waterbirds, native fish and other aquatic animals.

“This watering is the result of recommendations from the local community and collaboration with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

“The first of the planned releases has commenced and will last for about 40 days.

“We will review the releases as the season progresses to ensure we get positive outcomes for the creek and the community,” said Ms Love.

Contact: Jacki Roberts

Page last updated: 27 September 2013