During the 2021–22 year the Murray and Lower Darling–Baaka catchments experienced La Niña weather conditions resulting in high rainfall and moderate temperatures. NSW Murray and Lower Darling–Baaka general security entitlements reached full allocation of 110% in October 2021.
Both the Murray and Lower Darling–Baaka catchments experienced many months of high unregulated flows throughout the water year. These flows inundated many priority assets and environmental water was used at several sites to complement the outcomes achieved by unregulated flows.
About the catchments
The Murray and Lower Darling–Baaka catchments are located in the south and west of NSW and cover a combined area of 98,300 square kilometres. Located in the temperate climatic zone, average rainfall ranges from nearly 2 meters in alpine areas to less than 300 millimetres in the far west.
The major river in the catchments is the Murray. Australia’s longest river, the Murray starts in the southern alps then receives contributions from several tributaries, including the Ovens and Goulburn rivers that flow from Victoria, and the Murrumbidgee and Darling–Baaka rivers that flow from NSW. Extensive wetland areas are located within the Murray catchment. Ramsar-listed sites include the Millewa, Werai and Koondrook–Perricoota forests, Chowilla Floodplain and River Murray Channel. The Murray and Lower Darling–Baaka catchments also contain large river and creek networks, for example the Edward–Kolety–Wakool system with its extensive red gum forests and black box woodlands.
The Murray and Lower Darling–Baaka catchments are Country to the Wiradjuri, Dhudhuroa, Waywurru, Bangerang, Barapa Barapa, Wamba Wamba, Yorta Yorta, Barkindji Maraura, Muthi Muthi, Nyeri Nyeri, Tati Tati, Wadi Wadi, Weki Weki and Ngintait First Nations.