Annual environmental water priorities in the Intersecting Streams catchment

Water managers will optimise the outcomes of recent flows with a focus on creating opportunities for northern basin recovery.

Priorities for 2020–21

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a shift toward wetter than average conditions and warmer than average temperatures through winter–spring 2020 across the Intersecting Streams catchment.

With drought in the northern basin potentially easing, critical environmental demands have reduced, particularly in relation to connectivity. In 2020–21, the focus of water managers will be to optimise the outcomes of recent flows with a focus on creating opportunities for northern basin recovery.

Following significant fish kills in the northern basin in 2019–20, a key priority for water managers this year is to support remaining stocks of native fish and provide opportunities for them to spawn and disperse into secure habitat.

At the start of 2020–21, water is likely to be retained in Narran Lake as a result of inflows which began in March 2020. A priority for this system will be to ensure a sufficient vegetation condition and water level should further inflows trigger a colonial waterbird breeding event in spring 2020.

Further details on watering priorities for 2020–21 can be found in the Annual Environmental Watering Priorities 2020–21 (PDF 3.2MB).

Highlights from 2019–20

After many years of deep drought, connection along many streams to the Barwon and Darling rivers was achieved in the NSW reaches of the Moonie, Culgoa and Warrego rivers as a result of summer rainfall in 2019–20. Significant flow (400 gigalitres plus) in the Paroo River across the border was also a feature of late summer, along with more than 60 gigalitres of flow into the Narran Lakes system from the Narran River.

With drought in the northern basin potentially easing, critical environmental demands have reduced, particularly in relation to connectivity.