Water is being released down the Darling-Anabranch in Far West New South Wales today for the first time since 2017.

Key points:

  • About 100 gigalitres anticipated to be the required amount to connect the system down to the Murray River
  • Water authorities say the time is right to release the water from Menindee
  • Graziers along Darling-Anabranch say it’ll be beautiful to see water coming downstream

The anabranch leaves the main Darling River just south of the Menindee Lakes and runs down to the Murray River, just west of Wentworth near the border with Victoria. 

The Interim Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Hilton Taylor, said they were anticipating about 100 gigalitres would be needed to send water all the way through the system.

He said releases would come out from Lake Cawndilla in Menindee.

“Flowing all the way through to the Murray to connect these fish and this old paleo stream, as it’s called,” he said.

Balancing water use and preservation 

Mr Taylor said water authorities were comfortable about releasing the water now.

He said quite a bit of water was still coming down the basin system, the Menindee Lakes were already surcharged above their full supply limit and the long term forecast was for good spring and early summer rain.

cawndilla 2

Mr Taylor says they’ve been talking with community members and water resource managers about the release(

Supplied: Michael Minns


“This is part of the communication and conversations with the local community and the water resource managers.”

A narrow, muddy river flowing through dry, red earth

The gates of Menindee’s Lake Cawndilla have opened to release water down the Darling-Anabranch(

Supplied: Michael Minns


Summer oasis 

Wyndam Station’s Angus Whyte,  who lives along the anabranch, said the release was “absolutely ideal”.

He said the river would be beautiful this summer.

“I reckon the yabbies will appreciate it, certainly the wildlife, the birds,” he said.

“So really really happy about that.”

Posted , updated 

Anabranch to see water once again
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