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 2021–22

In 2021–22, water managers in the Intersecting Streams will support native fish and provide opportunities for them to breed and disperse into secure habitats.

With water likely to be retained in Narran Lake, a priority is to increase the duration of inundation of water-dependent vegetation to ensure adequate vegetation condition and water level should further inflows trigger a colonial waterbird breeding event. 

If flows are repeated in the Warrego River again this year, it will increase vigour and diversity of wetland vegetation on the Toorale western floodplain wetland. These flows will be balanced against the needs of the downstream Barwon–Darling system.

As these systems are typically intermittent, further flows and inter-system connections depend on rainfall occurring throughout the year.

Further details on watering priorities for 2021–22 can be found in the Intersecting Streams Catchment – Water for the Environment: Annual Priorities (PDF 7.1MB).

Highlights from 2020–21

The region saw above average rainfall in late 2020 to early 2021. This rainfall created periods of high flow for some rivers, up to 2200 megalitres per day in the Paroo (at Willara gauge), and 900 megalitres per day in the Moonie (at Gundablouie gauge). This rainfall generated significant flow to Narran Lakes, and the Paroo and Bulloo river wetlands.

Significant flow events did not occur within other rivers in the Intersecting Streams catchment.

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

Critical wetlands, such as the Narran Lakes, have seen replenishment after extended dry periods.