Snowy River high-flows to commence in August

Media release | 8 August 2018

The first of five planned high-flow environmental water releases to the iconic Snowy River will commence in late August, NSW Department of Industry Director Water Science Lynn Tamsitt said today.

“These high-flow water releases are designed to mimic the natural flow of the Snowy Mountain Rivers, with the aim of improving its long-term health.

“The first scheduled release is late in winter and the following four are in spring to reflect the natural timing of likely high-flow events. This flow pattern assists the river re-establish stream function and improve in-stream habitat.

“We are mindful of downstream landholders during these releases and encourage them to make appropriate plans such as moving stock or pumps and infrastructure to higher ground,” Ms Tamsitt said.

The high-flow releases are planned for:

  • Thursday 30 August – equivalent peak flow 2,364 ML/d for eight hours,
  • Wednesday 12 September – equivalent peak flow 2,530 ML/d for eight hours,
  • Wednesday 3 October – equivalent peak flow 2,720 ML/d for eight hours,
  • Wednesday 17 October – equivalent peak flow 8,617 ML/d for eight hours (largest flow), and
  • Wednesday 31 October – equivalent peak flow 2,140 ML/d for eight hours.

Ms Tamsitt said the results from previous studies from the department’s Snowy Flow Response Monitoring and Modelling Program show the Snowy River is responding well to these events.

“The release of environmental water into the Snowy River over a series of high-flow events has been successfully trialled over a number of years.

“The move to a main spring flushing flow is to make better use of the available water to promote the establishment of aquatic and riparian vegetation.

“This year’s high-flow events will once again be given culturally significant names by Aboriginal elders, reflecting their respective community’s connection with the rivers of the Snowy Mountains,” Ms Tamsitt said.

Environmental water releases to the Snowy River are mandated under the Snowy Water Inquiry Outcomes Implementation Deed 2002; a tri-government agreement between the Australian, New South Wales and Victorian Governments to achieve improvements in Snowy River health.

Further information about the Snowy River environmental releases is available on the Department of Industry website.