Latest Environmental News
Queensland’s legislated Condamine-Balonne Water Resource Plan (external link) provides for environmental outcomes and the meeting of environmental flow objectives in the Lower Balonne by requiring water entitlement holders (such as irrigators) to comply with specific rules which state, for example, how much flow must be in the river before certain quantities of water can be taken from the rivers or the floodplains.
Over recent years, the Commonwealth Government has acquired some of these water entitlements so that more water remains in the rivers, on the floodplains, in wetlands (such as the Narran Lakes) or passes further downstream to the Barwon-Darling.
These Commonwealth acquired water entitlements are held by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) who makes decisions about how to make best use of these entitlements for environmental benefits.
Read some examples below about how the CEWH, with the cooperation and support of local water users, the community and governments have made a positive environmental impact in the Lower Balonne.
Read the April 2021 CEWO Environmental Flow Report here.
Feb-March 2020 Environmental Outcomes
In February / March 2020 there was a large flow in Condamine-Balonne River system. Private water licence holders contributed to this event as part of a collaborative effort with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (CEWO) and the Queensland Government, resulting in more water staying in the river system for environmental benefit.
There are six (6) CEWO Flow Reports on this event, read more here (external link).
Narran Waterbird Habitat Project
In 2020 the CEWO ran a pilot to Rebuild Waterbird Habitat (external link).
The increased water available in this Lower Balonne flow event went down the Narran River supporting downstream communities, cultural uses, riverine habitat and bird breeding at Narran Lakes (Dharriwaa to the Yuwaalaraay/ / Euahlayi First Nations people). Flows reached Narran Lakes on Saturday 29 February 2020 with the flow delivering 90 GL of water into Narran Lakes. Around 30 species of waterbirds were observed. This pilot was possible due to a licence holder forgoing their entitlement to pump from the Narran River (thus leaving more water in the river system to support the pilot outcomes).