Project status: Closed


This consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback and attended an information session. Your ideas are being considered in the finalisation of the guidelines.

Please note that submissions will not be made public and detailed responses to individual submissions will not be provided.

We are looking at:

Releasing extra water into our waterways to keep our aquatic ecosystems healthy is an important part of water management in the ACT. Known as ‘environmental flows’, this water replaces the natural flows that may be missing because our water supply dams stop it entering the streams or during times of drought.

We need environmental flows because fish feed, breed, spawn and migrate in response to natural flow patterns. Flow patterns determine the shape of stream channels, how different stream habitats connect to each other and what plants and animals occur.

Water for the environment is given priority when deciding how much water is available for all uses in the ACT, including urban water use and water entitlements. Every five years the ACT Government reviews and revises the Environmental Flow Guidelines, which set out how much water we release—and when.

Environmental Flow Guidelines determine the water needed by a stream or river to stay healthy and fulfil important ecological attributes. For example, it’s important to maintain healthy populations of the threatened Macquarie Perch in the Cotter River so, every two months, 150 megalitres are released each day for three days below Bendora and Corin dams.

The draft Environmental Flow Guidelines follow a review of the current guidelines by the Institute of Applied Ecology of the University of Canberra. They have been developed using the latest scientific data, research and analysis and take into account the need to consider future climate change scenarios and requirements under the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.

How to have your say

If you would like to comment on the draft Environmental Flow Guidelines, please read the the draft guidelines, the review and/or information about environmental flows. To make comments:

  • leave them in the survey (see 'Survey' tab above) or
  • email to:
  • mail to:

Senior Manager, Catchment Management and Water Policy

Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate


You can also attend an information session in July. Please keep an eye on this website for details of dates and venues.

Comments and submissions close on Friday 17 August 2018.

How will your views be used?

All comments will be considered in the finalisation of the Environmental Flow Guidelines.

Submissions are welcome from individuals, community groups, industry organisations and others. Please note that submissions will not be made public and detailed responses to individual submissions will not be provided.



The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.