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Wetland gets a taste of spring

The Boomanoomana wetland will get a taste of spring water this month with the delivery of up to 400 megalitres through the Murray Irrigation network.

Murray Irrigation and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) began watering the Boomanoomana wetland near Mulwala earlier this week.

The delivery will inundate 72 hectares of wetland to maintain important native wetland flora including river red gum, milfoil and water ribbons – all important habitat for wildlife.

The Boomanoomana wetland watering coincides with the delivery of water for the environment to the Tuppal Creek via the Murray Irrigation system which started in August.

At the same time, watering of seven private local wetlands has begun and will continue over the coming weeks to promote southern bell frog breeding.

These watering initiatives are part of a formal agreement between Murray Irrigation and OEH signed last year to deliver water for the environment through local irrigation infrastructure.

“This partnership between Murray Irrigation and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has benefits all round,” Murray Irrigation Environmental Water Coordinator Keith Thompson said.

“Environmental objectives are being met and Murray Irrigation is attracting more water use within its system.

“It makes a lot of sense utilising existing infrastructure to deliver water for the environment, especially considering that Murray Irrigation has the ability to deliver water strategically using a gravity-fed system.”

The agreement between Murray Irrigation and OEH builds on a previous arrangement to deliver water for the environment to wetlands since 2001.

This targeted watering allows water managers to get water to key areas while mitigating negative third-party impacts.

As part of the current agreement, OEH pays the same standard water delivery fees as other customers plus a conveyance loading.

“This deal has absolutely no negative impact on our irrigator customers,” Mr Thompson said.

“Water for the environment is done strategically. We manage the system to ensure there are no flow share impacts on irrigators. “This is about kicking environmental goals, while also delivering extra water through the system, and in turn, improving the long-term sustainability of Murray Irrigation’s system.”