May 21

Gwydir Valley Flow Updates

Video shows March flows in the Gwydir (location: the Lower Gwydir Floodplain, covering the Mehi and Lower Gwydir rivers and the Gingham watercourse)

Over the summer of 2020-21, around 23 GL of water for the environment was delivered across the Lower Gwydir, Gingham and Mallowa Creek systems within the Gwydir Valley and downstream.

In combination with natural flows, water for the environment helped improve the condition of the Gwydir Wetlands Ramsar sites located on ‘Old Dromana’ and ‘Goddard’s Lease’.  They also provided habitat for a range of waterbirds, fish, frogs, and turtles after an extended dry period.

In January, natural flows triggered a waterbird nesting event. Water for the environment was used to help several colonial nesting species finish their breeding. Waterbird surveys undertaken in February recorded around 1,000 magpie geese in the Gingham watercourse, gathering in flocks of 80-100, with some establishing nests in the area.

In late March, the Gwydir Valley received significant inflows from widespread rainfall. This led to major flooding across much of the Lower Gwydir Floodplain. This had a significant impact on communities across the Gwydir.

Following the floods, NPWS and DPIE EES staff observed several large (100+) groups of straw-necked and white ibis, great egrets, intermediate and little egrets.  Mixed flocks of ducks and lots of cootes and grebes were also spotted.

Read the full update here: Gwydir Flow update April 2021


May 21

A look at the Gwydir March 2021 flows

Floods that hit the Gwydir catchment in late March, 2021, brought a mixture of devastation and life to the communities and ecosystems that depend on the catchment’s rivers. As the entire Gwydir catchment was doused with heavy rainfall between March 22 and March 24, downpours quickly translated into a significant, widespread flooding event. We tracked this event, including its volume and extent, as it moved throughout the channels in the Gwydir system and beyond. Take a look at the details of the Gwydir March 2021 flood via the link below. 

Read the full story here: A look at the Gwydir March 2021 flows


Apr 21

Lower Balonne Flow 2021

The Condamine catchment recieved good rainfall in early 2021 with some areas recieving up to 200 mm between January and March. Runoff from these rains contributed to natural inflows that complimented Commonwealth water for the environment. Stay current with these events and their outcomes via the CEWO Event updates below.

Event update #1 – 15 April 2021
Event update #2 – 9 June 2021


Mar 21

Restarting Dry Rivers: Risks to Water Quality

Delivering flows to maintain water quality in remnant pools is vital to maintain habitat quality and provide refuge for iconic species such as Murray Cod and Golden Perch. However, there are a number of inherent risks with delivering water through a dry system and we want to tell you all about them. 

Read the full story here: Restarting Dry Rivers – Risks to Water Quality


Mar 21

A Guide: Monitoring River Systems During a Global Pandemic

The year that was 2020 put a lot of things out of whack for the majority of us. While the fish, frogs and birds of the Warrego-Darling river systems were seemingly unaware, the Flow-MER team came across a few challenges in keeping a close eye on our study locations. Early 2020 saw the greatest flows through the Warrego-Darling since ages (or at least the commencement of our monitoring in 2014). Due to COVID-19 restrictions we couldn’t get on the ground to see this inundation and its ecological impact in person, therefore, we had to adapt. Thanks to modern technology, there were a few ways that our team continued to gather data to help inform important management decisions, ensuring the health of these systems- the fish, frogs and birds didn’t suspect a thing!

Click here for the full story: Monitoring River Systems During a Global Pandemic


Mar 21

A turtle’s go with no flow

The Gwydir River valley is home to a diverse range of aquatic species that rely on flows of fresh water to survive and thrive. The 2019 calendar year was the driest on record and the drought saw record low rainfall which led to sustained periods of no flow. Very dry conditions combined with high temperatures and local bushfires had to place a lot of pressure on the plants and animals of the Gwydir. In this little story we’ll provide some insight into how the system responded.

Click here for the full story: A turtle’s go with no flow


Feb 21

When wetlands boom

Dr Sarah Mika is a lover of water and the life that teems in its presence. From water quality to microinvertebrates to macroinvertebrates, Sarah is passionate about the small things that make wetlands boom. In this story Sarah tells of this passsion; how it started while studying and playing in the coastal rivers of NSW and how it’s fuelled now by researching various wetlands of the northern Murray-Darling Basin for the CEWO’s Flow-MER Project.

Click here for Sarah’s full story: When wetlands boom


Dec 20

Northern Waterhole Top-up – Flow Updates

Releasing a tagged Murray cod. Photo: NSW DPI Fisheries

The last four years have been the driest on record across much of the northern Murray-Darling Basin, despite rain earlier in 2020, and the current La Nina. Parts of the Barwon River have not flowed for over 60 days, and the river is drying back to waterholes. So, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (CEWO) have coordinated for freshes of water for the environment to be released down 200+ km’s of the upper Barwon system between December 2020 and January 2021.

Click the links below for further updates:

Northern Waterhole Top-up – Flow Update 1
Northern Waterhole Top-up – Flow Update 2
Northern Waterhole Top-up – Flow Update 3
Northern Waterhole Top-up – Flow Update 4


Dec 20

Edition #3 “Going with with Flow”

Image: Vegetation survey underway at the Old Dromana RAMSAR site in the Gwydir Wetlands.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (CEWO) have released Edition #3 of Going with the Flow. Check it out for a summary of the latest basin-wide monitoring activities for the MER project.

A basin-scale highlights map is also available below for a brief on how our rivers and wetlands were tracking over winter/spring 2020.

Edition 3 2020:  “Going with the Flow”
Flow-MER Highlights Map: Q1 2020-21



Dec 20

Murray cod: An Icon of the Murray-Darling Basin

Image: Murray cod : Maccullochella peelii peelii in the Gwydir River. Photo – NSW DPI Fisheries

What is the first fish species that pops into your head when you think of the Murray-Darling Basin? I bet it’s the Murray cod, or Guduu in Gamilaraay language (pictured above). You might remember a family fishing trip and cod on the BBQ. Or maybe you have just seen pictures or film of Australia’s largest freshwater fish…

Read our story on how environmental water flows support the Murray cod breeding season:

Issue No. 10 – Murray cod: An Icon of the Murray-Darling Basin