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Summary 2018–19

42.7 GL

water for the environment delivered at this site

23.8 GL

water used at this site

18.9 GL tooltip

flowing back to the river system

clipart representing water use


Water for the environment delivered.
a tick mark

Climate conditions

Dry - above average temperatures with river flows half the long term average. tooltip
icon dry

Works tooltip

Are there works at this site?
a tick mark
Works in use this year?
a tick mark

42.7 GL delivered in the 2018-19 water year. The full action was 48 GL, including water delivered in 2017-18.



In 2018-19, Yarran Creek was used to connect the Gunbower Creek to the River Murray providing a pathway for native fish to move between the main river channel and the Gunbower floodplain. The flow returning to the River Murray from the forest floodplain, including through Yarran Creek, also provided an estimated 140 tonnes of nutrients, a rich source of food for fish. (Photo: NCCMA) Carbon-rich water returning to the River Murray.


In a dry landscape, wetland plants and trees thrived in areas which received water for the environment, providing food, fibre and medicinal plants for Barapa Barapa Traditional Owners.

“I could live out here for a month. I’d have everything I need” Barapa Barapa Traditional Owner. (Photo: NCCMA)


River red gums were healthier at sites which received both natural flooding and water for the environment with 71% of trees in better condition compared to 57% at sites which just received natural flows. This shows the importance of using water for the environment to build on natural flooding to benefit floodplain forests. (Photo: Genevieve Smith) Spur Track in Gunbower Forest wet in October 2018, compared to Spur Track dry in August 2019.


At Long Lagoon and Little Gunbower Creek, colonial waterbirds successful bred and fledged with around 150 juveniles from three species of cormorants including little pied, little black and great cormorants. (Photo: Will Honybun) Little pied cormorant chicks in Long Lagoon, Gunbower Forest.


Nationally threatened trout cod were found in Gunbower Creek for only the third time since monitoring began in 2008. Photo from fish condition monitoring report – (Credit: C, Bloink [Ecology Australia]).

Past reports for Gunbower Forest

  Overall   Vegetation Waterbirds Fish Other
flood icon2018-19 A   A A B -
flood icon2017-18 B   A B C -
flood icon2016-17 B   A B B -
flood icon2015-16 B   A B B -
flood icon2014-15 B   A A B -
flood icon2013-14 B   A B D -
flood icon2012-13 B   B A C -
flood icon2011-12 C   C B C -
flood icon2010-11 B   B A C -
flood icon2009-10 C   B C D B
flood icon2008-09 C   C C B D
flood icon2007-08 D   D C C -
flood icon2006-07 -   - - - -
dry icon Dry flood icon Very Wet
wet icon Wet moderate icon Moderate

Each year, water is released into the environment depending on the climatic conditions. See the outcomes of water over time for a long-term view of how natural and released water affects the health of rivers.


Stories from the River Murray – Gunbower Forest
Kayaking through the flooded forest. (Photo: NCCMA)
Kayaking through the flooded forest. (Photo: NCCMA)
Panorama: contrast between water for the environment footprint (left), and areas of the forest that remained dry (right). (Photo: NCCMA)
Panorama: contrast between water for the environment footprint (left), and areas of the forest that remained dry (right). (Photo: NCCMA)
Lush groundcover of wetland plants below the river red gum canopy. (Photo: NCCMA)
Lush groundcover of wetland plants below the river red gum canopy. (Photo: NCCMA)
Waterbird surveys (Photo: NCCMA)
Waterbird surveys (Photo: NCCMA)
A map of the Murray-Darling Basin see-our-progress MURRAY RIVER ADELAIDE Koondrook-Perricoota Forest Deniliquin Goolwa SOUTHAUSTRALIA VICTORIA NEW SOUTH WALES Barmah-Millewa Forest Hattah Lakes Lower Lakes, Coorong &Murray Mouth GunbowerForest Lindsay, Mulcra & Wallpolla Islands Blanchetown Mildura Swan Hill Albury-Wodonga Echuca ChowillaFloodplain