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Water Research Centre
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005 Australia

Phone:+61 8 8313 3747
Facsimile:+61 8 8313 6222

Potential benefits and impacts of the proposed Chowilla watering structure

Justin Brookes
Associate Professor, The University of Adelaide
Director, Water Research Centre

Justin discusses in detail the regulator proposed for Chowilla, which is an important RAMSAR site of high ecological value north of Loxton (near lock 6) in South Australia.  The objectives of the regulator are to provide water to the floodplain in a way that creates a mosaic of quality habitats, returns resources to the river, waters vegetation and ensures resilience during periods of low flow.  Methods that will be used to achieve these objectives include the pumping of water, environmental water allocations and regulator construction.  Risk assessments have been undertaken, including predicted responses to environmental watering by vegetation such as river red gums and fauna such as frog, fish and bird species.  Justin concludes that significant ecological benefits can be obtained by the Chowilla regulator and that detailed planning, extensive ongoing monitoring and caution are essential for its success.