NSW Wetland Recovery Program
The NSW Wetland Recovery Program, managed by the Office of Environment and Heritage, aims to restore the ecological health of the Macquarie Marshes and the Gwydir wetlands, two of Australia's most important wetlands. Wetland recovery projects include measures to improve water efficiency, infrastructure, wetland management, and the voluntary buy-back of water licences.
The NSW Government has allocated $13.4 million to the wetland recovery program and a matching $13.4 million has been provided from the Australian Government Water Fund.
Under the wetland recovery program, $400,000 was granted to the NSW Office of Water to undertake a strategic compliance audit of structures in the Macquarie Marshes during 2008 and 2009.
The Macquarie Marshes are semi-permanent wetlands located about 100 km north west of Warren in north west NSW. The Marshes host large-scale waterbird breeding events and are are a refuge for a variety of wildlife. The Marshes support migratory species with some parts of the Marshes internationally important.
The Macquarie Marshes receive their flows from the Macquarie River, which is regulated by the Burrendong Dam.
The NSW Office of Water has implemented the $3 million Gingham Pipeline Scheme, which provides piped supplies to landholders along the Gingham watercourse. The water savings are to be used for environmental purposes in the Gingham wetlands. The project area covers 90,000 hectares in the lower Gwydir catchment, including several Ramsar listed sites, and provides significant bird breeding habitat.
- Improving reliability and quality of domestic water supplies to landholders previously reliant on water from the Gingham channel.
- Saving 950 megalitres of water for the environment.
- Providing the foundation for the implementation of the Gingham channel restoration to protect the significant environmental assets of the Gingham wetlands.
- Providing investment in rural infrastructure to create employment in rural areas during construction.
The Office of Water completed construction of the scheme in March 2011 in collaboration with the Gingham Water Users Association, the former Border Rivers Catchment Management Authority (now the Local Land Services), the former Department of Environment Climate Change and Water (now the Office of Environment and Heritage), the former Land and Property Management Authority, the Australian Government, and the Gingham community.