Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Going in early to help native fish


How is water for the environmen­t being used?

In the Edward/Kolety-Wakool rivers, water for the environmen­t is being delivered in partnershi­p with Murray Irrigation Limited (MIL) to create safe-zones of fresh water for native fish, crayfish, and other aquatic animals.

Using MIL’s network of channels and escapes, small volumes of oxygenated water can be delivered to create areas of better quality water, as is currently happening at the Wakool, Edward and Neimur escapes. Native fish and crays can move to these areas and improve their chances of survival, should they need to. The approach has been designed with the Edward/Kolety-Wakool Environmen­tal Water Reference Group and draws on lessons learned from previous low-oxygen events in 2016, 2012 and 2010. The delivery of this water will be responsive to changes in conditions and advice from the SES and local communitie­s. The CEWO is thankful for the local community representa­tives, and the broader community, for their efforts in responding to previous low-oxygen events in the Edward/Kolety-Wakool rivers.

With the Commonweal­th Environmen­tal Water Holder using MIL infrastruc­ture, and paying associated fees, the delivery of this water is achieving multiple benefits. MIL is investigat­ing other sites that could also be used to provide similar habitat, depending on local community support.

Scientists from Charles Sturt University have water quality monitoring in place to capture data as water for the environmen­t is delivered. Water managers will continue talking with local communitie­s, including First Nations about the progress of the flow over the coming weeks.

This work is possible thanks to the collaborat­ion and support of the local community and our water delivery partners - NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environmen­t, NSW DPI Fisheries, Charles Sturt University, WaterNSW, Murray Irrigation Ltd, and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Deliveries of water for the environmen­t began on 15 September at the Wakool escape, 6 October at the Edward escape and 7 October at the Neimur escape. Flow rates will be adjusted depending on river flows and may be reduced as river flows peak.

How are outcomes of water for the environmen­t monitored?

Charles Sturt University will monitor the effectiven­ess of this release of water for the environmen­t. More informatio­n can be found on their website or by searching: CSU Edward-Wakool MER project.

Who do you contact?

For more informatio­n on Commonweal­th water for the environmen­t, please contact Anthony Wilson, CEWO Local Engagement Officer on 0419 188 430, or follow us on Twitter @theCEWH.

Informatio­n on the Edward/Kolety-Wakool Environmen­tal Water Reference Group can be found at: http://www.environmen­ au/water/cewo/catchment/mid-murray/edward-wakool-ewrg

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