The Murrumbidgee catchment saw very dry conditions and significantly lower than average inflows in 2018–19. This resulted in only a 7% general security allocation (the average carry over was 22%) with about 110 gigalitres of New South Wales environmental water allowances available for use.
To build on low starting allocations, water was carried over from the 2017–18 water year. Under these conditions, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Environment, Energy and Science’s (DPIE–EES) Water for the Environment Team worked with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to water Yanga National Park. This priority event inundated thousands of hectares of wetlands, lakes and red gum forest in the park.
Remaining water for the environment was used to maintain refuge habitats for native fish, frogs and turtles as well as habitat important to waterbird species such as Australasian bitterns. Significant outcomes included:
- improved condition of wetland vegetation communities in the Lower Murrumbidgee
- improved fish habitat during low flows and heat-wave conditions
- golden perch recruitment
- Australasian bittern breeding (Yanga)
- colonial waterbird breeding (Yanga egret rookery).