About Snowy River Increased Flows
The Snowy Water Inquiry Outcomes Implementation Deed (SWIOID) requires environmental flows of up at an overage of 212GL per year to be released into the Snowy River.
Environmental water priorities
The Snowy River Increased Flows program is managed by the Department of Planning and Environment - Environment and Heritage Group (DPE EHG), in consultation with the Snowy Advisory Committee, who determine annual environmental water priorities for the Snowy Rivers and design a flow regime with the available water to achieve these priorities.
Find detailed information on annual priorities, including the ‘Annual Plan for the Snowy and Montane Rivers Increased flows’ on the DPE - EHG website.
Where sufficient water allows, the NSW, Victorian and Commonwealth governments have agreed that ecological objectives would be best achieved by releasing annual ‘flushing’ flows. These high flows improve river health and the physical condition of the in-stream habitat by scouring and transporting fine sediment.
It is expected that as the river physically responds over time to the higher flows, the focus of the recovery process will transition to meet other ecological objectives.
2023–2024 Water year
A total of 220,500 megalitres of environmental water will be released to the Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam during the 2023–24 water year.
DPE EHG have designed a flow regime that includes eight separate ‘high-flow’ events between 18 May and 10 November 2023.
The daily flow for each of these high-flow events will be above 2,500 megalitres per day, and will include five eight-hour peaks above 5,000 megalitres per day. Frequent smaller flow releases, below 2,500 ML/d, will also made throughout the year.
There are two flushing flows in the current 2023 schedule, which will be delivered if Jindabyne Dam levels are high enough to enable delivery of large flows over the dam wall.
Read the overview of the plan for this year in the media release: Snowy River high-flows to commence in mid May
More detail is available in the Snowy River Increased Flows Operations Plan 2023-24 (PDF, 485.09 KB) and more information in the Snowy River high-flows FAQs.
High-flow release schedule for 2023-2024
The table shows the schedule for high-flow releases. The timing and volumes of flows may changes subject to environmental, climatic or operation conditions.
|Thursday 18 May 2023||Daily peak flow of 5,000 megalitres per day (ML/d) over 24 hours, with equivalent peak flow 8,864 ML/d for eight hours from 8am to 4pm if Jindabyne Dam levels are high enough to enable delivery.|
|Wednesday 21 June 2023||Daily peak flow of 2,931 ML/d, with equivalent peak flow 4,507 ML/d for eight hours.|
|Thursday 6 July 2023||Daily peak flow of 4,099 ML/d over 24 hours.|
|Tuesday 22 August 2023||Daily peak flow of 3,919 ML/d over 24 hours, with equivalent peak flow 5,000 ML/d for eight hours.|
|Wednesday 20 September 2023||Daily peak flow of 3,827 ML/d, with equivalent peak flow of 4,699 ML/d for eight hours.|
|Friday 6 October 2023||Daily peak flow of 2,743 ML/d over 24 hours.|
|Wednesday 18 October 2023||Daily peak flow of 5,000 ML/d over 24 hours, with equivalent peak flow 10,362 ML/d for eight hours (largest flow) from 8am to 4pm if Jindabyne Dam levels are high enough to enable delivery.|
|Friday 10 November 2023||Daily peak flow of 2,832 ML/d over 24 hours, with equivalent peak flow 4,236 ML/d for eight hours.|
Note: The peak flow releases will occur during daytime hours from 8am to 4pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. Dates and volumes may change subject to environmental, climatic or operation conditions.
Safe management of high flows
The department works with Snowy Hydro and other relevant agencies to ensure the safety management of high flow releases. The Snowy River Increased Flows Safety Management Plan 2023-28 (PDF, 1440.67 KB) details the processes that are followed. This Plan is reviewed annual for currency.
Rising river alerts for 2023-24 water year
The department will publish 'rising river alerts' below and issue them to relevant media organisations several days prior to each of the eight high-flow events.