Community low flows design library

The SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board ran a competition crowd sourcing ideas from farmers, inventors, engineers, entrepreneurs and designers to propose new ways to secure low flows around dams and watercourse diversions in the Mount Lofty Ranges.

We wanted to build on the range of designs to assist us to better balance the water needs of production and a healthy catchment. Securing low flows will improve the health of our catchments, improve water quality, help to stabilise creek beds and support long-term water security.

A wide range of designs were submitted and the result is this library of ideas, so that people in our communities and businesses can choose, remix and build on ideas that best suits their needs and are appropriate to their situation. These designs are community ideas. They are not approved solutions, but can be used to support developing site-specific proposals.

Below are links to a fact sheet and technical drawings for each community design.

Automatic valveless float controller
A simple cup and conduit that responds to threshold flows  Fact sheet Technical drawing
Ball float and cable trigger
A low-cost system to slowly release water captured in dams  Fact sheet Technical drawing
Dam entry diverter
A simple, effective, no moving parts method to divert low flows  Fact sheet Technical drawing
Divert and store
A weir to bypass dams and slowly release into the environment  Fact sheet Technical drawing  
Hope soak
Minimal disturbance, flexible method to siphon off early flows  Fact sheet Technical drawing  
Interception swales
A low-cost method to intercept and redirect low flows  Fact sheet Technical drawing 
Low flow interception
Piped direct path and diversion swales to intercept flows  Fact sheet Technical drawing
Low flow powered pump
The Rutherford pump uses a low flow diversion to pump water uphill  Fact sheet Technical drawing 
Self-adjusting siphon
Low maintenance, adjustable and reliable siphon  Fact sheet Technical drawing
Sluice to bypass
Piped in-stream sluice to collect and divert flows above the dam  Fact sheet Technical drawing
Solar pump and shower
Simple solar driven pump utilising a float switch  Fact sheet Technical drawing
Tyre float sluice gate
Operated by a recycled tyre and polystyrene float  Fact sheet Technical drawing
Umbrella diverter
A covered double canister to siphon water from dams.  Fact sheet Technical drawing  
Underground gravity bypass
Valve-operated pipeline to connect watercourses around a dam  Fact sheet Technical drawing
Valveless flexible self-starting siphon (Please note: this design is patent pending)
Application of M-Siphon technology  Fact sheet Technical drawing

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More information

  • Senior Project Officer, Catchment Management
    Lower level, Corner Mann & Walker Street, Mount Barker SA 5251
    08 8391 7500
    mardi.vanderwielen@sa.gov.au