While the Murray River is flowing strongly despite the drought, many of its tributaries are drying up.
Yesterday I visited the Wakool River with Wakool Landholders Association Chairman John Lolicato.
He showed me a spot downstream of Gee Gee bridge where there is still water in deep holes. A bit upstream the river has been reduced to billabongs and further upstream in Possum forest some of the billabongs have dried up.
Downstream of Gee Gee bridge
A billabong that was Wakool river
John has moved some Murray Cod from drying billabongs to larger water holes.
John looking for some water and stranded fish
Also yesterday, the NSW Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water Phil Koperberg announced that a pulse of water would be released into the Wakool River to provide stock and domestic water and environmental benefits.
Mr Koperberg acknowledged that the Wakool River had not had flows for months due to the severe and extended drought.
“The diversion of water into these systems will provide landholders with access to stock and domestic water for the first time in months, help improve water quality and provide significant environmental benefits to stressed populations of native fish and other aquatic species,” he said.
“The water cannot be used for irrigation and additional deliveries for irrigation are not viable as they would exacerbate additional water losses that cannot be supported.”