Supply measure projects
Supply measure projects include environmental works, such as building or improving river or water management structures, and changes to river operating rules to achieve environmental outcomes with less water.
The South Australian Government is responsible for implementing the following supply measure projects:
- Chowilla Floodplain Project
- Flows for the Future
- Riverine Recovery Project
- South Australian Riverland Floodplain Integrated Infrastructure Program
- South East Flows Restoration Project
- River Murray in South Australia constraints measure.
Together with New South Wales and Victoria, South Australia is also jointly responsible for implementing the Enhanced Environmental Water Delivery Project and The Living Murray environmental works and measures program.
South Australia’s progress
Chowilla Floodplain Project
The Chowilla Floodplain works are part of The Living Murray environmental works and measures program at icon sites along the River Murray. The environmental regulator allows water levels in the anabranch creeks to be raised so that large areas of the Chowilla Floodplain can be inundated under relatively low river flow conditions.
Construction of the regulator and associated works was completed in 2014 and have been used in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 to deliver water onto the Chowilla floodplain. This supply measure project has been completed.
Flows for the Future
The Flows for the Future project undertakes activities that reduce the interception of low flows to re-establish more natural water flow patterns in streams in the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges. It will result in additional flows to the River Murray including the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth.
Phase 1 of this project is expected to be complete on 30 June 2019. South Australia is currently finalising documentation to be assessed for Phase 2 (implementation) SDLAM funding. If successful Phase 2 of the Flows for the Future Project is planned to commence on 1 July 2019 and to be completed in 2022.
River Murray in South Australia Constraints Measure
The River Murray in South Australia constraints measure project will investigate opportunities to address physical and policy constraints to the delivery of higher regulated flows (up to 80,000 megalitres per day) at the South Australian border. Higher flows are important for maintaining connectivity from the border to the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth and connecting the wetlands, floodplains, creeks and anabranches to the main channel.
The Australian Government is currently undertaking due diligence on the initial funding proposal for this project.
The Riverine Recovery Project aims to return a number of wetlands to a more natural wetting and drying regime which results in evaporative savings.
The construction phase and finalisation of this project is on track for completion by June 2019.
South Australian Riverland Floodplain Integrated Infrastructure Program
The South Australian Riverland Floodplain Integrated Infrastructure Program aims to create an integrated and resilient floodplain along the River Murray between the South Australian border and Lock 1.
The package of works and measures will enable floodplain inundation and freshening of groundwater lenses with a particular focus on the Pike and Katarapko floodplains. Salinity management measures will complement the floodplain inundation works.
The construction phase of this project has commenced and is on track for completion in 2020. Full commissioning of the works is expected to be completed in 2021 subject to enough water for the environment being available in 2021 to test the structures to their full capacity.
South East Flows Restoration Project
The South East Flows Restoration Project uses a combination of newly constructed drains and widened existing drains within the Upper South East drainage system to divert additional water that currently flows to the sea from the Blackford Drain in the Upper South East into the Coorong South Lagoon.
The construction phase of this project is expected to be completed by April 2019.
A successful two month trial diversion of water from the Blackford Drain to test the infrastructure was undertaken from September to October 2018. Full commissioning of the environmental works is expected later in 2019 subject to available water.