How winter rain helps the river run

Extra rain this winter is good news for the River Murray – for plants, animals, irrigators and visitors.

You’d have to be living under a very wet rock not to have noticed the extra rain South Australia’s been getting this winter. Average rainfall figures have been busted all over the place.

Irrigators who rely on water from the River Murray to grow their crops or feed their farms are also feeling the love.

When rainfall is low, it can impact how much river water irrigators can use on their land. So at times like this when rainfall is high, irrigators can breathe a sigh of relief and can use their full quota of water.

But the best part about all this extra rain is there’s a heap more water in the River Murray, resulting in what’s called ‘unregulated flows’.

This is water that can’t be captured and stored to use at a later date, which means it stays in the river and goes directly to the environment.

That’s great news for the plants and animals around and in the river. Their habitats are getting a massive drink.

Wren photo for unregulated flows story

The other great thing about unregulated flows is that the river is looking fantastic. Plants are blooming and trees are green, which makes for beautiful scenery.

The sun is starting to creep back into view, signalling the onset of spring, which means it’s time to start thinking about heading along the river for some rest, relaxation and recreation.

Some of the wetland areas are also great spots for a visit. Check out Loch Luna and Moorook Game Reserves, which show off some magnificent scenery. Plus you can even get out your canoe, making for a whole new way to explore the area.

Know of a particularly scenic spot along the river? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

(Main image courtesy of Mark Clemow)

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