The first of five planned high-flow environmental water releases during winter and spring to the Snowy River is set to commence in late June, NSW Department of Industry Director Water Analytics, Danielle Baker, said today.
“These high-flow water releases are designed to better mimic the natural flow characteristics that are seen in Snowy Mountain rivers, with the aim of improving the long-term health of the iconic Snowy River.
“The release of environmental water into the Snowy River over a series of high-flow events has been successfully trialled over a number of years.
“This year there are two scheduled releases in winter and three in spring, to reflect the natural timing of likely high-flow events.
‘Downstream landholders and visitors to the area are being made aware of the flows and are encouraged to make appropriate plans ahead of the water releases including moving stock, pumps and infrastructure to higher ground,” Ms Baker said.
The planned high-flow releases are:
- Friday 28 June – equivalent peak flow 3,561 megalitres per day for eight hours
- Thursday 25 July – equivalent peak flow 1,936 megalitres per day for eight hours
- Tuesday 3 September – equivalent peak flow 2,199 megalitres per day for eight hours
- Wednesday 30 October – equivalent peak flow 5,000 megalitres per day for eight hours (largest flow)
- Thursday 14 November – equivalent peak flow 2,188 megalitres per day for eight hours
Ms Baker said the results from previous studies show the Snowy River is responding well to these seasonal high-flow events and this continuing approach had received input this year from the recently formed Snowy Advisory Committee and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
“There are smaller release events this year as a result of the limited water availability, which reflects the natural cycles of the Snowy system.
“The flow patterns includes a higher degree of daily and seasonal flow variability which assists the river re-establish stream and channel functions and promotes the establishment of aquatic and riparian vegetation,” said Ms Baker.
Environmental water releases to the Snowy River are mandated under the Snowy Water Inquiry Outcomes Implementation Deed 2002, a tri-government agreement between the Australian, New South Wales and Victorian Governments, to achieve improvements in Snowy River health.