Joint wetlands watering project gets under way
In April 2016 the Carrs, Capitts and Bunberoo (CCB) Creeks system, in south-west New South Wales, received a much needed drink thanks to the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group, Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and Tar-Ru Lands Board of Management.
Over three weeks, during April 2016, nearly one billion litres of environmental water was spread across five sites, incorporating 11 wetlands within the CCB Creeks system.
The aim is to rejuvenate the threatened River Red Gum and Black Box ecological communities and the wetlands associated with these creeks.
Later in the year, as part of the project, environmental water will also be provided to the nearby Backwater Lagoon.
The Project Area
Carrs, Capitts and Bunberoo Creeks system is located on the floodplain of the Moorna State Forest, within the Locks 9 and 8 reach of the Murray River (south) and Frenchmans Creek (north) – about 45 kilometres west of Wentworth, NSW. For many years, the natural water flows/processes of the wetlands have been interrupted by river regulation, including two fixed-crest concrete weirs, seven access-road crossings and numerous rock levee banks.
Backwater Lagoon is located on the floodplain of Tar-Ru Lands, which is part of Wangumma State Forest, NSW.
The majority of the project area is Crown land managed by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). This land is in the process of being handed back to the traditional Aboriginal owners, the Maraura Barkindji people, represented by the Tar-Ru Lands Board of Management. Landholder permissions and access have been generously given by NPWS, Tar-Ru Lands Board of Management, South Australia Water and Moorna Station.
Water delivery and flow rate
Siphons will operate at both locations for about 20 days. Between 10 and 25 megalitres/day will be delivered per siphon at each site – a megalitre is one million litres.
Duration of inundation
It is anticipated that the environmental water will remain in the wetlands and creeks for up to four months.
Extent of inundation
Approximately 60 hectares of wetlands will be inundated at the CCB Creeks system in Autumn and 12 hectares at Backwater Lagoon in Spring 2016.
Seven 30 centimetre (12”) siphons will be set up within the CCB Creeks system and two 30 centimetre (12”) siphons at Backwater Lagoon. The siphons will be used to transfer water from Frenchmans Creek into the two systems, except for one site within the CCB Creeks system, which will transfer water from the Murray River Lock 9 weir pool.
It is anticipated that 950 megalitres of environmental water will be delivered to the CCB Creeks system during April and an additional 350 megalitres to Backwater Lagoon in Spring 2016; a total of 1300 megalitres.
A monitoring program will identify the priorities of the Tar-Ru Lands Board of Management and the Aboriginal traditional owners. This means the local Aboriginal people will be involved in monitoring and managing their lands.
Monitoring results will also inform future watering at the sites for both ecological and cultural outcomes.
The water delivery contractor will install meters on the nine siphons to measure water use.
Remote cameras, photo points and acoustic monitoring will also be installed to record the outcomes of environmental water delivery into wetlands. This will include the initial wetting phase, the retention period during and immediately after water delivery and when water levels begin to recede.
For more information, contact:
Dr Deborah Nias
Chief Executive Officer
Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd.
PO Box 313
Blackwood SA 5051
Phone: 0417 287 651
The project partners listed below are also providing valuable support for this project.