Re: Macquarie Marshes

To: "Terry Bishop" <>
Subject: Re: Macquarie Marshes
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2005 12:13:02 +1100

Between 75mm to 100mm of rain receive in the Macquarie marshes catchment
during the night. A large area of this catchment  flows into the Macquarie
below Burrendong Dam and has a free flow to the marshes. There are floods in
many of the small centres causing a large volume of water.
Minor floods are forecast for Bathurst and the Macquarie above the dam so there will be quite a large quantity of water entering Burrendong for summer releases.

What Terry writes is correct, however there are some complications.  Summer releases will be for irrigation and won't really impact on the marshes.  What we need are flows into the Macquarie from below Burrendong Dam (eg the Bell & Talbragar Rivers).

On top of the 30 000 meg environmental release from Burrendong two weeks ago the water that's just fallen in the catchment is good news, particularly as much of it will be entering the Macquarie below the dam (notably the Bell River).  We are talking something like 20-30 000 megs a day.

However .... it is hard to say just how much of this will get to the marshes as irrigators will be permitted to extract water off allocation - that is this water is not counted as part of their allocation, it is "free" water.  There are a lot of water storages that are not full at the moment so a lot of water will not make the marshes.

Having said that, some water will piggy-back the environmental release and flooding in the marshes will increase from the current 2000 - 3000 ha under water.  Not enough for waterbird breeding (other than perhaps ducks) but still better than nothing.  What we are hoping for is the realisation of a weather system that is predicted to build up in the north and drift south dumping another 100-150mm in the area.  If this combines with another system from the south we could see some real flooding - possibly in the order of 30 000 ha under water.

We can only hope.


David Geering
Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator
Department of Environment & Conservation
P.O. Box 2111
Dubbo  NSW  2830
Ph: 02 6883 5335 or Freecall 1800 621 056
Fax: 02 6884 9382

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