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Summary 2017–18

0 GL

water for the environment delivered at this site

0 GL

water used at this site

0 GL tooltip

flowing back to the river system

clipart representing water use


Water for the environment delivered
a cross 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



The low level operation of the Chowilla works from August to December 2018 delivered water for the environment to provide an in-channel rise in the creeks and provide water to the lower parts of the floodplain. Water for the environment was also pumped to four priority wetlands. Operations provided important refuges for plants and animals in a drying landscape. (Photo: C Nickolai)


The inaugural Indigenous Partnerships Program Forum was held in Renmark in May 2018. The Forum provided an opportunity to bring together Traditional Owners from across icon sites to celebrate 10 years of The Living Murray partnership. The First People of the River Murray and Mallee Region and Aboriginal staff also showcased their connection and involvement to the icon site and its management. (Photo: Chowilla Traditional Owners)


River red gums and black box trees in areas watered by the natural floods in 2016 and the delivery of water in 2016 and 2017, flowered profusely through to early 2018. Showing the trees are healthy and therefore producing plentiful food for bush birds and other animals.


Flow control works at wetlands adjacent to the River Murray are being used to provide wetting and drying regimes. Exposed mud flats and shallow water conditions at these wetlands are providing feeding habitat for a large number of waterbirds including black winged stilts, red kneed dotterels and red necked avocets. (Photo: H Kieskamp)


In 2018 the highest number of young Murray cod were recorded since monitoring began in 2005. This is a great early sign of recovery and highlights the importance of Chowilla anabranch as habitat for this iconic fish species. (Photo: SARDI)

Past reports for Chowilla Floodplains

  Overall   Vegetation Waterbirds Fish Other
flood icon2017-18 B   C A A -
flood icon2016-17 B   A B B B
flood icon2015-16 C   C B A B
flood icon2014-15 C   C C A B
flood icon2013-14 C   C B A B
flood icon2012-13 C   C B A C
flood icon2011-12 C   C A A D
flood icon2010-11 B   C A A A
flood icon2009-10 C   C A A B
flood icon2008-09 C   D A A C
flood icon2007-08 -   - - - -
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 River Murray – Chowilla Floodplain
New growth brandy bottle
New growth brandy bottle
Chowilla creek
Chowilla creek
Fish survey Wera Werta Wetland Photo: C Nickolai
Fish survey Wera Werta Wetland Photo: C Nickolai
Yabby fish surveys, Lake Limbra Photo: C Nickolai
Yabby fish surveys, Lake Limbra Photo: C Nickolai
Lace Monitor Photo: H Kieskamp.
Lace Monitor Photo: H Kieskamp.
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