Major environmental flow entering Barwon-Darling

Major environmental flow entering Barwon-Darling

11 May 2018

A major environmental release being conducted by WaterNSW on behalf of state and Commonwealth governments is set to peak on the Barwon River at Collarenebri within 24 hours.

Simultaneous releases into the Border Rivers and Gwydir valley ordered by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) are expected to eventually extend from Mungindi to the Menindee lakes.

This release is one of two flow events progressing along separate stretches of the parched Barwon-Darling system bringing benefit to local landholders, communities and the environment.

A naturally occurring flow which entered the Darling from Queensland in March is flowing past Wilcannia at a rate of 30 megalitres per day (ML/day).

The joint environmental releases are expected to sustain low levels flow downstream of Brewarrina and reach Wilcannia mid-June.

As a large release from regulated tributaries into the Barwon-Darling, the operation is a first and WaterNSW and the CEWH are closely monitoring its success via the river’s gauging network and with on-ground personnel.

Temporary pump restrictions on A, B and C class water access licences in the Barwon-Darling remain in place and apply for the entire length of the system. The restriction will remain in place until 22 June. The only extractions permitted are for stock and domestic supply and town water.

If significant rainfall should occur during the watering event, WaterNSW will assess the inflow volumes and advise licensed water holders as to what access they have to those flows. Customer access arrangements will be published on the WaterNSW website.

Executive Manager, System Operations Adrian Langdon said WaterNSW and the CEWH are working with customers to ensure their obligations and entitlements are clear.

“We are working hard with customers and stakeholders to ensure that both the environmental water is protected and that in the unlikely event of rainfall, other users’ rights to pump additional inflows are not affected.  This is the win-win we are all striving to achieve.

“WaterNSW has committed additional resources to ensure the objectives of this environmental flow are fully realised.  We are also taking the opportunity to have our in-field team work together during the environmental flow event with new Natural Resource Access Regulator (NRAR) staff to kick-off what needs to be a very collaborative relationship between our agencies.”

For information on pumping regulations in the Barwon-Darling visit

Contact: Tony Webber

Phone: 0428 613 478


Saturday 30 May
2,123,862 ML
2,596,150 ML
9,087 ML
1,299 ML
-571 ML
Saturday 30 May