Environment SA News

Riverland community to celebrate success of floodplain infrastructure program

Over the past ten years visitors to South Australia’s Riverland region may have noticed new, innovative infrastructure being installed along the River Murray. You may not have known what it was for though?

Riverland community to celebrate success of floodplain infrastructure program
The Splash regulator and fishway at the Katarapko floodplain was just one of the infrastructure upgrades delivered through SARFIIP.

It was all part of a major environmental project - the South Australian Riverland Floodplains Integrated Infrastructure Program – or SARFIIP, which has delivered major, tangible improvements to the local river ecosystem.

A function is being held at the Berri Rowing Club this Saturday to celebrate the programs’ success as it wraps up after ten years.

The SARFIIP celebration marks the conclusion of a major environmental program which funded the construction of infrastructure including regulators, fishways and blocking banks at iconic floodplain sites at Pike and Katarapko, delivering significant results for the river ecosystem.

Spokesperson for the Department for Environment and Water Dr Glenn Shimmin said the program was driven by the community to help support their local floodplain environments, which had rapidly declined during and after the Millennium Drought.

“Species such as frogs, turtles, and birdlife have really been thriving since regular environmental watering has taken place at the floodplains via the SARFIIP infrastructure,” Dr Shimmin said.

“The frequent environmental watering is bringing the floodplains back to life. Throughout the landscape the smaller understorey vegetation and other plants, such as lignum, have responded extremely well to the watering, with many turning bright green and with new growth developing.

“This weekend’s celebration is about acknowledging the support of the community and to thank those staff and contractors involved in delivering the SARFIIP program over the past 10 years.

“It’ll be a great day for those responsible for delivering the works to come together and celebrate the success of the program and the benefits it’s brought to the Riverland, both environmentally and economically.”

A short film has been created to share the great results of the program. To view the video visit https://youtu.be/IHSVof9fMWI

SARFIIP is a $155 million investment program funded by the Australian Government through the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and implemented by the South Australian Department for Environment and Water to improve the watering and management of River Murray floodplains in South Australia’s Riverland.

This project is part of the package of 36 supply and constraints measures notified under the Basin Plan Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism. These projects allow up to 605 gigalitres of water to remain available for irrigation while achieving equal or better environmental outcomes through environmental works, system infrastructure and/or rule improvements.