Annual environmental water planning is undertaken prior to the start of each water year in the Southern Connected System of the Murray-Darling Basin to identify watering priorities for major wetlands. This includes efforts to align watering actions across sites to maximise the environmental objectives that can be achieved for a given volume of environmental water available. One example within South Australia has been considered, to align in-channel flows in the South Australian River Murray channel, target water levels in Lake Alexandrina, and also maintain end of system flows out of the barrages into the Coorong and Murray Mouth.
Previous approaches to align watering actions have involved testing different inflow scenarios, and evaluating the resulting hydrological regime along the River Murray in South Australia against a range of environmental water requirements. Typically this was a time consuming and iterative process, requiring multiple model runs to align flow requirements for each asset. A new Environmental Flow Node has recently been developed within the eWater Source modelling platform, which allows environmental orders to be created based on watering targets. The node can be configured to trigger different demands aligning with environmental water requirements, depending on the conditions simulated. This allows a more dynamic approach to consider and align environmental water demands, enabling a range of scenarios to be evaluated quickly. This work presents a comparison between the two different modelling approaches, to ultimately inform the delivery of environmental water within the River Murray for the 2018/19 water year.