The Nimmie-Caira forms part of the lower Murrumbidgee River system located in southern NSW and comprises the southern floodplain for the Murrumbidgee River near the confluence with the Lachlan River.
The floodplain area is dominated by lignum shrubland that supports significant colonial nesting bird rookeries and prior to European settlement, the lignum shrublands were inundated as a result of regular natural flooding along the lower Murrumbidgee system. However, following settlement the land was developed for irrigated agriculture and land use intensified significantly and had substantial impacts on the flow and subsequent health of rivers and wetlands. In 2012, the Government purchase the land with the intent of returning the water to the system for both productive use and ecological outcomes.
Alluvium was engaged over a number of projects to to develop a comprehensive understanding of how water moves through the landscape and the ecohydrological relationships associated with high value ecological assets and functions.
The first stage of this work included the development of ecological objectives and conceptual modes, and development of hydraulic and hydrodynamic modelling. Following this work we developed concept, functional and detailed design of the water infrastructure to return areas of high ecological value back to a normal watering regime.
Alluvium then worked with Palladium Group and Biosis to develop a complete Land and Water Management Plan and supported the commercialisation negotiation.
Concluding the 4 years of our involvement with the Nimmie Caira was the hand over of the site to a consortium made up of the Nature Conservancy, the Nari Nari Tribal Council and other partners who will now take on the future management of the 85,000 hectare site.
The Nature Conservancy’s approach to the management of Nimmie-Caira will focus on three key areas: environmental protection, Indigenous engagement, and participation and sustainable development. Some sections of the site have been identified as holding high conservation and cultural heritage values, while others have been approved to support commercial activities including carbon farming, education and low-impact grazing with profits to go back into environmental restoration works.