Threats

There are a range of threats facing the health of the upper Murrumbidgee River's natural and social assets. Reduced surface water flows and altered seasonal patterns, physical disturbances, loss of habitat, reduced habitat connectivity and complexity, introduced animal and plant species, and the regions population all have impacts on the heath and viability of the riverine ecosystem.   Low river flows, excessive sediment build-up, artificial barriers such as road crossings, exotic riverbank vegetation and competition from introduced aquatic species have a combined impact on local native fish populations and are key threats that the UMDR aims to reduce. Threatening processes impacting on priority assets include:

  • Changes to surface water flows and seasonal patterns
  • Reduced water quality
  • Groundwater depletion
  • Climate change impacts on water availability
  • Physical disturbances (e.g land clearing, farm dam construction)
  • Loss of in-stream habitat connectivity and complexity (e.g weirs and low level crossings)
  • Loss of riparian habitat connectivity and diversity
  • Introduced plant species (e.g willows, blackberries, serrated tussock)
  • Introduced animal species (e.g fish such as carp, mammals such as the rabbit and feral cats)
  • Rural land use practices (e.g allowing stock access to waterways)
  • Urban activities (e.g. polluted stormwater runoff)
  • Recreational activities (e.g illegal fishing)
  • Threats to cultural heritage assets (e.g vandalism)
  • Changes to fire regime