Gwydir River

Gwydir River 
Drought Stage

Stage 2 - Emerging drought

Stage 2 recovering - de-escalated from Stage 3 severe on 23 March 2020.

Storage Level
  • Copeton Dam at 16% (219 GL) of active capacity compared to 120 GL (10%) on 1 July 2019.
Allocations
  • Zero general security allocations announced on 1 July 2020 but a small 1.7% announced in August 2020 and increased to 4.77% in September 2020.
  • Zero allocations for general security for most of 2019/20, but all carryover water available. Small 1.9% general security allocation announced on 7 May 2020 and 0.27% on 5 June 2020.
  • Last general security allocation made (prior to August 2020) was in August 2017.
  • Full high priority and high security allocations for 2019/20 and 2020/21.
Actions
  • Environmental releases were made in April 2019 to provide flow along the Lower Gwydir and Mehi system into the Barwon-Darling as part of the Northern Fish Flow.
  • Environmental releases from October 2019 to January 2020 to improve quality of fish refuge pools.
  • Delivery of water in 2019/20 occurred in block releases to conserve supplies and will again in 2020/21 be via block releases and downstream tributary inflows.
  • Restrictions on access across the Northern Basin in January/February 2020 to protect flows for critical needs. These ended 28 February, but access for high security and some general security was permitted from run of river flows during the period.
  • Some supplementary access has been permitted.
Issues
  • Fish deaths in late January/early February 2020 near Moree and Bingara as a result of short sharp rise in river flows from localised storms.
Outlook
  • Following significant rainfall Copeton Dam received 70 GL inflow during February - March, but smaller inflows since.