Flash flooding impacts Splitters Creek

January 2022 heavy rainfall took everyone by surprise

Flash flooding impacts Splitters Creek

January 2022 heavy rainfall took everyone by surprise

Community Participation -


The issue

High-intensity rainfall events in January 2022 across the state have reminded us of the need to adapt to a changing climate, particularly those of us living along waterways. Catchments which previously saw moderate (and low during drought) flows struggled to cope with rainfall events such as those in January which saw 83 mm of rainfall within 24 hours in some parts of the eastern part of the Murray region. The rain events were also short heavy dumps of rain. These high rainfall events within already saturated catchments, caused high runoff and increased flows in waterways, leading to rilling, streambed scouring, sedimentation and bank slumping.

Splitters Creek, east of Albury, was one such catchment which experienced significant changes after the January rainfall events. Landholders within the catchment noticed major changes to Splitters Creek and Greens Creek including streambank scouring moving slugs of sand down the creek, high energy flows which dislodged rock and boulders which previously stabilised the creek, and steep banks eroding and encroaching on gardens, gates and infrastructure such as creek crossings. In some areas works to stabilise banks, such as riparian plantings, were washed away.

The solution

Bungowannah/Splitters Creek Landcare Group, with support from Murray Local Land Services, the Local Landcare Co-ordinator and Soil Conservation Service (SCS), held a field day on Sunday 3rd July 2022 to discuss issues of erosion within the catchment and offer advice for landholders.

David Thompson (SCS) started off the day with a presentation outlining some of the characteristics of the catchment (including local soil type and slope), watershed calculations for areas within the catchment, and options for managing different types of erosion.  The afternoon was then spent visiting several properties within the Splitters Creek catchment to see first-hand the impact of the flooding.

The impact

The general feeling during the well-attended day, was that the issues were a shared problem in the catchment, not just of each impacted landowners that would be best addressed by working together to address the high priority issues first. The next step for the Landcare Group is to seek funding, with the support of MLLS and the Local Landcare Coordinator, for a detailed technical assessment of the catchment. This will allow the group to prioritise on-ground & in-stream works, seek funding, and plan out Landcare activities to repair the damage and improve the health of the Splitters Creek catchment.

by Susanne Watkins, Murray Local Land Services

Key facts

  • Different soil types erode at different rates
  • Ground cover is the key to preventing erosion
  • Drainage control is critical to controlling erosion
  • Slowing water when it flows is paramount

Project Partners