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Enhanced Environmental Water Delivery Project

The Enhanced Environmental Water Delivery (EEWD) Project, also known as Hydro-Cues, is an environmental water delivery strategy. The project builds on the existing knowledge of environmental water managers and river operators to improve coordination of environmental water delivery across the southern basin. South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria are the joint proponents of this project.

The project plans to improve the planning and coordination of environmental water under both high flow and low flow conditions.This will happen by increasing the ability of environmental water holders to coordinate the delivery of environmental water with natural flows caused by rainfall (natural cues). A natural cue is a change in water levels, river flows, water temperature or nutrient input as a result of rainfall or inflows. When a natural cue occurs, processes such as frog breeding, fish spawning and waterbird nesting are more likely to be triggered and sustained.

Key elements of the project include:

  • improving the forecasting of river flows
  • aligning the release of held environmental water with natural or operational flows to influence the peak and or duration of a flow event
  • making use of increased channel capacity (resulting from complementary projects to relax physical constraints to water delivery) to allow increased managed flows
  • coordinating environmental water releases across tributaries of the Southern Basin to maximise downstream and system-wide connectivity outcomes.

The three proponent states are finalising the funding proposal for Stage 1.

Stage 1 will establish project management and governance arrangements that will be critical to the development of a comprehensive implementation plan. The implementation plan is to be guided by early investigations, data collection, technical reports and stakeholder input and is expected to be completed by June 2020.

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