Feature Length Live Virtual Presentation 10th Australian Stream Management Conference 2021

The Behaviour of Floods in Australia’s Dryland Warrego River (#22)

Shjarn Winkle 1 , Paul Frazier 1 , Mark Southwell 2 , Niva Verma 1
  1. 2rog Consulting, Armidale, NSW, Australia
  2. University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia
  • The behaviour of floods in the Warrego River has been the centre of public conjecture. In particular there has been speculation that flow into the Darling has been reduced through upstream structures capturing Warrego flow.
  • The aim of this study was to better understand the behaviour of floods (volume and peak) as they pass down the Warrego system over a 30-year period (1990 to 2019). We described flood passage patterns to detect changes in downstream attenuation.
  • Flood attenuation was analysed by tracking the downstream progression of headwater generated floods and calculating the change in peak and volume transmission as the floodwaters passed our selected gauges. We also examined a subset of floods using Landsat and Sentinel imagery.
  • We found a consistent pattern of downstream attenuation during the 30-year study period. With an anomalous period between November 1999 and September 2001 where flood passage was greatly reduced. Better understanding of the pattern of contribution of the Warrego to the Darling can help to broaden public understanding of the water sources in the MDB.
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