About Us


Unlike most other rivers developed for irrigation in the MDB, the Lower Balonne has no headwater storage and a very modest regulated storage. 

It is largely a water harvesting system where extractions are staggered along the system.   Daily water takes are reported when water harvesting, and water is diverted via pumps and gravity into off-stream storages.  This allows the natural flow path on the floodplain to function in much the same way as under natural conditions.

Since June 2000, we have spent approximately $1,900,000.00 on what we believe to be the most extensive community sponsored river ecology and hydrology monitoring program in Australia.  We do this because we rely on our river system for our economical and social well-being, and realise if we can't be environmentally sustainable, we will not survive.

Our monitoring program has been peer reviewed at several stages by eminent scientists, including Dr Richard Marchant, as part of the Cullen review. 

Dr Lee Benson, EM Ecology Management, conducts our monitoring program bi-annually in May and November, or depending on flows in the river. 

The Science Review of the Lower Balonne River System identified important ecological assets that need to be managed.  These are:

  1. The biota of rivers and distributary channels of the Lower Balonne and their associated wetlands:
  2. The internationally recognised Narran Lakes; and,
  3. The National Parks of the Culgoa Floodplain and the Darling River itself.

Smartrivers recognises the importance of protecting these natural areas and degradation of the protected areas would be unacceptable to us. 

However, if we are deemed to be unsustainable in our practices, we support voluntary buyback of water, but only at market price.


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