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Chowilla floodplain facts for kids

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The Chowilla floodplain is a floodplain adjacent to the Murray River, upstream of Renmark. The floodplain extends across the state border into New South Wales. It includes the Chowilla Game Reserve.

European pastoralists first occupied the region in the 1840s. Among the first pioneers was Fred Handcock, who overlanded livestock from New South Wales, and lost his life there in 1847.

The Chowilla Dam was proposed to be built across the floodplain in the 1960s, and if it had been built, much of the floodplain that is now protected would have been permanently flooded. The Chowilla floodplain is protected as part of the Riverland Ramsar wetland of international importance.

After significant drought and low water flows in the Murray River around 2009-2010, the flood plains were under significant stress due to lack of water. As a response to this, additional regulators were installed to enable artificial floods across parts of the wetland to ensure the health of the trees by simulating the natural floods that would have occurred before the river was regulated by the locks and weirs and upstream dams.

Coordinates: 34°S 140°E / 34°S 140°E / -34; 140

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