Liz Taylor is our newly appointed Gomeroi (Gwydir) Selected Area Cultural Advisor. This role sits within a pilot project to help guide communication and engagement with Traditional Owners in the land of the Gomeroi People. Liz will help us to listen and learn from First Nation communities.
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office is planning their use of water for the environment in 2021-22. Click HERE to read the northern Murray-Darling Basin planning overview.
Cycles of ‘boom’ and ‘bust’ periods dominate the Gwydir floodplain. Longer dry periods are often broken by flooding rains. The past several years have been one of those very dry spells for the Gwydir, a bust. However, the current ‘boom’ will help to rejuvenate the landscape and community after the long dry. Check out this flyer for an update of the Gwydir’s 2021 boom.
Exciting news! 2rog will be developing the Armidale Regional Council Catchment Water Quality Strategic Plan. We’re looking forward to this project, read a little more about it HERE.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is preparing for the construction of new and upgraded water infrastructure at Homestead and Boera dams. Following extensive studies and consultation, both Boera and Homestead dams will be retained and modified to provide improved flow management in the Warrego and Darling rivers, while protecting important cultural and environmental values on the Toorale National Park and State Conservation Area (Toorale).
If you’re interested to read more on this project, please click here.
Last year we shared an art series produced by Gamilaroi artist, Lakkari Pitt, that beautifully captured the Flow-MER program ecological indicators shown in the image above.
This time we want to share a little more about the artist herself. Lakkari discusses family, connection to Country and traditional knowledge in our feature Q&A that we’re excited to share for NAIDOC week, 2021.
The Warreo River and its associated wetlands, incuding the Western Floodplain, occasionally host a suite of international migratory waterbirds. These birds are seasonal vistors who make epic journeys across the globe to visit Australia, and they depenend on healthy wetlands to do so.
There is lots to learn about migratory birds. Where do they come from and why? How do they navigate? And how often do they execute mammoth migrations between the north and south poles?
Let us bring you up to scratch.
If you stand in just the right spot on the bank of Boera Dam in the Toorale State Conservation Area (SCA) and look to the trees in the east, you will spot a very large mass of twigs and sticks neatly curated into a large bowl shape. When our bird expert, Steve Debus, spotted this mass his interest was piqued. He raised his binoculars to have a good look and immediately identified a white-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) nest. This is the furthest west in NSW that Steve had ever seen or heard of a white-bellied sea eagle nest with a breeding pair. Given that Steve is a raptor expert with about 40 years of experience, this observation is probably unique.
Environmental water managers have protected a portion of the flows following rainfall and flows into the Barwon-Darling during March and April 2021. The additional flows will help native fish to travel along the Barwon-Darling to improve opportunities for them to feed and breed. An update is available here.
These flows are building on the environmental outcomes provided by last year’s Northern Waterhole Top-up, which comprised six gigalitres (GL) from the Commonwealth and two GLs from NSW.
Environmental water managers recommenced protection of flows in late May. As of today (26 May) approximately 50 GL of unregulated flows have been protected from extraction through the active management of Commonwealth unregulated licenses. Approximately 19 GL of water for the environment (around 4% of the total volume) has flowed downstream of Wilcannia from 1 February to early May and contributed to the inflows at Menindee Lakes.