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Drought contingency monitoring at Tumudgery Creek, New South Wales

Tumudgery Creek was disconnected from 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 Tumudgery Creek included presence of sulfidic sediments, water levels and quality, blue-green algae, fish richness and abundance, river red gum condition, vegetation community, birds (waterbirds and terrestrial) and groundwater levels. Ten tri-monthly surveys were undertaken during the monitoring period of 6 September 2007 to 18 December 2009.