Annual environmental water priorities in the Border Rivers catchment

Water management in the Border Rivers catchment will focus on supporting native fish populations in the Severn, Dumaresq, Macintyre and upper Barwon rivers.

Priorities for 2021–22

In 2021–22, water managers in the Border Rivers will support native fish movement, breeding and recruitment outcomes in the Dumaresq River downstream of Glenlyon Dam and in the Severn and Macintyre rivers downstream of Pindari Dam.

If required and conditions permit, water for the environment may be delivered to provide a low connection flow along the Dumaresq and Macintyre–Barwon system to replenish and refresh pools.

If moderate sized natural events occur, water may be added to extend the duration and distance this water will reach downstream. The release of held water for the environment may be used to increase the peak slightly to inundate higher benches and low anabranches and their connected wetlands.

If larger natural events occur, a further proportion of these flows can be protected from extraction by use of supplementary and unsupplemented licences.

Further details on watering priorities for 2021–22 can be found in the Border Rivers Catchment – Water for the Environment: Annual Priorities 2021–22 (PDF 1.3MB).

Highlights from 2020–21

The planned Pindari stimulus flow was triggered and delivered to provide a stable flow to assist recruitment of Murray cod and freshwater catfish in October 2020. This flow was the first small fresh between Pindari and Frasers Creek since February 2019.

Translucent water was used to provide base flows, contributing to refuge pool replenishment and providing a pre-winter small fresh. Over 2.3 gigalitres (GL) was used to provide a stable base flow from November 2020 to April 2021 in addition to translucent releases resulting from inflows. In late December 2020 and early January 2021, 2.8 GL was piggybacked on a WaterNSW block release to Mungindi to provide replenishment of refuges in the Barwon River. The Commonwealth also contributed 900 ML from Pindari to this event. Approximately 5 GL was used to provide a pre-winter small fresh to increase system productivity and improve the pre-winter condition of native fish.