River operations in the Southern Basin have historically been focused on the supply of water for consumptive uses, predominantly irrigated cropping and town water supply. However, the acquisition of held environmental water has accelerated a transition to water now being actively managed for both environmental and consumptive use.
This change in approach means we need to think about how we operate the rivers differently and it is important that we enhance how rivers are operated to maximise environmental benefits without impacting on existing water users. The Enhanced Environmental Water Delivery (EEWD) seeks equivalent or better environmental outcomes with less water.
The initiative seeks to develop a hydrological cues delivery strategy which is enabled by a program of works to enhance environmental water delivery. Outcomes such as fish spawning or waterbird nesting are typically triggered by a range of cues and can include changes in water levels, river flows, water temperature or carbon and nutrient inputs. However, river regulation, water abstraction, and instream and floodplain structures are well known to interrupt or alter natural cues and reduce the success of these ecological triggers.
Alluvium along with Paul Simpson, and Blackwatch Consulting supported the MDBA to work with the Authority and all jurisdictions to initiate the project and to establish project management arrangements, including the establishment of the project management team and governance arrangements.
This work required development of a risk assessment, detailed project plan, and development of governance arrangements