Environment SA News

Community input sought on constraints measures to assist River flows

The Department for Environment and Water’s Constraints Measures team will be out and about in the Riverland and mid-Murray over the next two months talking to the community about their experience with high flows and how they impact the local river system.

Community input sought on constraints measures to assist River flows
Roads are just one of the barriers to water flow the Constraints Measures Strategy team is considering in this project.

It’s part of the Constraints project, a multi‑state Australian Government-funded Murray-Darling Basin Plan initiative involving New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia which aims to create better flows for the River Murray.

Constraints Project team leader Michael Colagrossi explained that constraints are things that restrict the amount of water that can flow through the river system.

“They can be things like roads without decent culverts, blocking banks, regulators and even decision‑making on water distribution … basically anything that stops water getting to where it is needed for the environment and community,” Michael said.

“With selected constraints removed or modified, more water will get to vital areas like floodplains and wetlands to promote regular wetting and drying.

“This will then help native fish breeding, reduce salt in the system, give plants and trees a good drink, provide a better environment for wildlife, increase recreation and produce positive cultural outcomes while putting measures in place to create community resilience to high flows.”

Michael said this process would be helped by topping up natural high flows with stored environmental water.

“Eventually, we’d like to see more natural high flows and get more water to all the areas in our river system that need it,” Michael said.

“But before we do that, it is vital to find out exactly what happens when there is a high flow of between 40,000 to 80,000 megalitres per day.

“That’s why we’ll be out in the regions in late May and June with a series of open house community sessions to provide further information and feedback opportunities.

“We’ve got maps and models that help us understand the river system, but it is just as important to find out what happens from those people on the ground.

“Based on the high flows in 2011 and 2016, we want to know from landholders, shack owners and those familiar with the river what happened in their area of interest in those years.

“We’d like any interested person to come along, find out more about how the Constraints project will provide better flows and tell us what they know, what they’ve seen and what they think about high flows”.

For more information on the Constraints program or to provide feedback and intelligence on high flows, visit: https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/river-murray-new/basin-plan/constraints-measures-project

Community Open House Sessions

Tuesday 25 May 2021: Barmera Soldiers Memorial Hall 1 pm to 4 pm

Tuesday 25 May 2021: Berri Council Foyer 5 pm to 7pm

Tuesday 8 June 2021: Swan Reach Town Hall 3:30 pm to 7 pm

Wednesday 9 June 2021: Pendles Tea Rooms 10 am to 2 pm

Wednesday 16 June 2021: Loxton Sporting Precinct 12 pm to 3 pm

Thursday 17 June 2021: Waikerie Hotel 5 pm to 7 pm

Tuesday 22 June 2021: Renmark Hotel 3:30 pm to 7 pm