Anabrach to flow
Friday, 10th September, 2010
In the coming weeks 47,000 megalitres of water will be released for the environment of the Great Anabranch of the Darling River, downstream of the Menindee Lakes.
Water will be released from Lake Cawndilla commencing Monday and will be progressively increased to about 1,000 megalitres per day.
NSW Commissioner for Water David Harriss said yesterday that at the same time, releases would be made from Packers Crossing into Redbank Creek that will flow to the Great Anabranch.
He said that the agreement to release flows into the anabranch was a decision of the joint governments under the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, and followed representations by the Murray-Darling Wetlands Group.
The volumes being released are from The Living Murray, Commonwealth and NSW Government environmental water entitlements.
"There has been no significant flow in the Great Anabranch since September 2002. Since then there has been a lot of vegetation growth that may affect the flow of water through the channel."
Mr Harriss said that the NSW Office of Water would work with State Water and the
Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water in managing the release pattern.
The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water will monitor the environmental benefits of flows as part of a ten year monitoring program associated with the completion of the Darling Anabranch Stock and Domestic Pipeline in 2009.
Mr Harriss said that high flows in the Darling River during January and February this year had resulted in small flows passing into the Great Anabranch through its natural off-take from the Darling River.
"This has wet up the main channel for about half of its length and it is the perfect opportunity to divert environmental water allocations to build on the initial environmental benefits already achieved," Mr Harriss said.