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Drought contingency monitoring at Back Creek, New South Wales

Back Creek was disconnected from Yallakool Creek (subsequently the Edward River) in September 2007 to achieve water savings as part of drought contingency planning. The Murray–Darling Freshwater Research Centre was contracted to monitor changes in the environmental condition of the wetland to detect and respond to risks of environmental damage throughout the disconnection period and 6 months after refilling. Ecological indicators monitored at Back Creek included sulfidic sediments, water levels and quality, blue-green algae, fish, river red gum, vegetation community, birds and groundwater. Twelve tri-monthly surveys were undertaken during the monitoring period from 6 September 2007 to 7 June 2010.