An artificial flood will provide a vital helping-hand to the world’s second largest red gum forest.

The New South Wales Primary Industries department has commissioned a managed environmental watering program this year which will see $80 million spent to release 466,000 megalitres of water to restore the Koondrook-Pericoota forest back to health.

The scheme has been designed to cover 17,000 hectares of forest on the Victorian-NSW border. David Dreverman, executive director for river management with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority says, “the aim is to get a sheet of water moving through the forest and ultimately into the creeks and channels that drain the forest and ultimately into the Barbers Creek which flows into Wakool River.”

Project managers have been given permission to release a volume of water equal to Sydney Harbour into the forest to simulate natural flooding.