The Hipwell Road Channel package of works enables regular flooding to be restored to Gunbower Forest, ensuring the future health of this important floodplain and the plants and animals that depend on it for survival.
The package of works includes engineering structures that allow for the delivery of large volumes of environmental water to the forest.
The works also allow environmental water to be used efficiently. The Hipwell Channel can inundate approximately 5000 hectares of the forest, including a third of the River Red Gum communities and most of the forest wetlands.
During a large watering event, an average of 70 per cent of the water delivered through the package of works is returned to the Murray River and therefore available for reallocation.
Watch videos of the Hipwell Road Channel works, and what they include here.
The package of works includes:
- A new weir in Gunbower Creek to enable supply of water into the forest by gravity
- A new channel to convey water from Gunbower Creek to Spur Creek
- A new gated regulator to control the flow of water from Gunbower Creek into the channel
Smaller regulators in the lower forest are also part of the package of works and are used to water the forest wetlands, which require more frequent flooding than the River Red Gum communities. The regulators in the lower part of the forest include three upgraded regulators at Black Swamp (Black Swamp Regulator (402KB)), Reedy Lagoon (Reedy Lagoon Regulator (363KB)) and Yarran Creek (Yarran Creek Regulator (303KB)), and a new regulator at Little Gunbower Creek (Little Gunbower Creek Regulator (390KB)). Two regulators on the Murray River at Barham Cut (Murray River at Barham Cut Regulator (245KB)) and Shillinglaws (Shillinglaws Regulator (230KB)) are also used to regulate forest draining.
The package of works has been designed so that it can be operated in a range of ways to take account of environmental water availability, seasonal conditions, and to achieve specific ecological objectives, such as fish and bird breeding. Importantly, this package of works will ensure the future health of this important wetland forest for generations to come.