The Fletchers Creek 2013/14 environmental watering project is a collaborative project between the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd. (MDWWG Ltd.) and the Barkindji Maraura Elders Environment Team (BMEET), in conjunction with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH); The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC) and the NSW Office of Water (NOW).
Starting on 10 December 2013, the initial 2013 summer trial began, with up to 360 ML of Adaptive Environmental Water (provided by OEH) available for release to Fletchers Creek, via a 30 cm pump, owned and operated by the MDWWG. The project is a special one, as it is achieving multiple social, community and environmental benefits. Aboriginal knowledge is informing decisions, and skills are being shared between all the groups involved.
The following video provides an excellent overview of the project:
The major aim of this project is to empower BMEET and engage their trainees in an on-going environmental monitoring program, with the secondary aim to improve the condition of native floodplain and wetland vegetation communities, recovering from the stresses induced by droughts and river regulation.
The initial 2013 summer trail is anticipated to deliver approximately 20 ML/day for around 18 days, to embark on a 5 km watercourse wetland restoration project aiming to rebuild the ecological health of Fletchers Creek.
The MDFRC (based in Mildura) will undertake a collaborative monitoring program with BMEET. A 2012 Caring for our Country grant established a baseline monitoring program in a stretch of the dry Fletchers Creek and three monitoring sites will be reassessed during and after the initial 2013 summer environmental watering trial.
Monitoring will be undertaken on vegetation response (trees, understorey and Lignum), establishment of photopoints, aquatic fauna and water quality.
Frogs will be monitored by OEH, whilst flows are entering Fletchers Creek and when full, at three locations, as well as incidental faunal observations.
The MDWWG will utilise the data collected from the biannual piezometers readings captured by NOW to analyse data on movements of water between the aquifers and creek beds.
An outdoor remote camera has been installed to record the water arriving at a site along Fletchers Creek, during water retention until flowing ceases and then when the water begins to recede.
For further information on the project please visit: