Snowy River increased flows

In determining how to use the environmental water recovered for the Snowy River through the Snowy Water Initiative, the New South Wales, Victorian and Commonwealth governments jointly agreed that ecological objectives would be achieved by storing and then releasing sufficient volumes to provide annual flushing flows. These high flows facilitate the improvement in the physical condition of the in-stream habitat by scouring and transporting fine sediment (i.e. primarily, sand, silt and clay). Meeting ecological objectives was identified as a high priority during the Snowy Water Inquiry. High flows are important to improve river health. It is expected that as the river physically responds over time to the higher flows, the focus of the recovery process will transition to meet other ecological objectives.

2022–2023 Water year

A total of 202,300 megalitres of environmental water will be released to the Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam during the 2022–23 water year under nine separate high-flow events across 14 days.

The daily flow for each of these events will be above 2,000 megalitres per day between 31 May and 9 December 2022. This will include five eight-hour peaks below 5,000 megalitres per day.

Table 1. Release schedule
DateVolume
Tuesday 31 May 2022 Daily peak flow of 2,061 megalitres per day (ML/d), with equivalent peak flow 3,715 ML/d for eight hours
Thursday 14 July 2022 Daily peak flow of 3,004 ML/d, with equivalent peak flow 4,504 ML/d for eight hours
Monday 5 September 2022 Daily peak flow of 3,179 ML/d, with equivalent peak flow 4,979 ML/d for eight hours
Tuesday 6 September 2022 Daily peak flow of 2,090 ML/d over 24 hours
Wednesday 7 September 2022 Daily peak flow of 2,678 ML/d over 24 hours
Tuesday 11 October 2022 Daily peak flow of 3,059 ML/d over 24 hours
* Superseded due to flood mitigation releases by Snowy Hydro.
Wednesday 12 October 2022 Daily peak flow of 4,339 ML/d, with equivalent peak flow 5,000 ML/d for eight hours (Largest flow)
* Superseded due to flood mitigation releases by Snowy Hydro.
Thursday 13 October 2022 Daily peak flow of 2,925 ML/d over 24 hours
* Superseded due to flood mitigation releases by Snowy Hydro.
Friday 14 October 2022 Daily peak flow of 2,248 ML/d over 24 hours
* Superseded due to flood mitigation releases by Snowy Hydro.
Monday 24 October 2022 Daily peak flow of 2,143 ML/d over 24 hours
* Superseded due to flood mitigation releases by Snowy Hydro.
Monday 31 October 2022 Daily peak flow of 3,910 ML/d over 24 hours
* Superseded due to flood mitigation releases by Snowy Hydro.
Monday 14 November 2022 Daily peak flow of 2,384 ML/d, with equivalent peak flow 4,189 ML/d for eight hours
* Superseded due to flood mitigation releases by Snowy Hydro.
Thursday 1 December 2022 Daily peak flow of 2,832 ML/d over 24 hours
* Superseded due to flood mitigation releases by Snowy Hydro.
Friday 9 December 2022 Daily peak flow of 3,705 ML/d over 24 hours

Note: The peak flow releases will occur during daytime hours from 8am to 4pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. The release date for these flow peaks could change as they are weather-dependent.

The releases to the Snowy River will be above 2,000 megalitres per day for 14 days across the nine high-flow events. In September and October there are multiple day high-flow events that will have flows larger than 2,000 megalitres per day to maximise the ecological benefits for the river.

Although there is no flushing flow in the current 2022 schedule, this will be reviewed dependant on climatic conditions.

The department will issue 'rising river alerts' to relevant media organisations several days prior to each of the nine high-flow events.

Increased flows and targets

Rising river alerts