This technical report prepared by Prof. Fran Sheldon from Australian Rivers Institute (Griffith University) composes of two parts.
In Part 1, this report first reviews the ecology and hydrology of water ecosystems along the Barwon-Darling. All data used in this report were supplied by the NSW Natural Resources Commission unless otherwise referenced. The Barwon-Darling is a hydrologically variable dryland river system. The draft Long-Term Water Plan for the Barwon-Darling River system defines a series of ecologically significant flow bands. These bands are defined based on their influence on habitat availability, habitat connectivity, influence on reproduction and recruitment of key flora and fauna and mediation of water quality. Meanwhile, this report lists several different licence types for water extraction within the Barwon-Darling water sharing plan. Of the 158 licence holders in the Barwon Darling, 10 control 86% of the total share component in the river and 4 of these holders’ control 75% of the total share component.
In Part 2, this technical report provides responses to 15 Terms of Reference (ToR), which focus on:
- Flow components and cease to pump classes;
- Seasonality of flow;
- Impacts within flow bands related to specific classes of licences;
- Knowledge gaps and evidence.