Barmah Choke sand management

Sand management
Murray-Darling Basin Authority

What Swash did

  • Swash is providing sand management and dredging advisory services for removal of sand deposits as a consequence of historical activities.
  • Swash services include project management of supporting feasibility investigations and studies.

About the project

The Barmah Choke is a narrow section of the Murray River that runs through the Barmah–Millewa Forest.

The Choke restricts the flow of the Murray River to around 7,000 megalitres (ML) per day.

The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is considering the limitations of using the Choke to deliver water downstream. Research from the MDBA shows capacity through the Barmah Choke is decreasing. A massive ‘slug’ of sand has been slowly moving downstream — and is now accumulating in the Choke.

The sand, estimated to be more than 20 million m3, is likely due to a combination of historical land clearing, gold mining, de-snagging and river regulation. This means that the sand slug is not a natural feature.

The MDBA is now undertaking a feasibility study on sediment management through the Barmah Choke.

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