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This is an example of a technical and institutional solution. An adaptive management approach was used to improve established dam operation practices and reduce the negative impacts of transferring consumptive water between reservoirs. Between 2001 and 2008 four discrete variable flow ‘trials’ were implemented by the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (now Murray-Darling Basin Authority) and Goulburn-Murray Water; three trials during the ‘releasing’ mode of operation (bulk water transfers from Dartmouth Reservoir to Hume Reservoir) and one during the ‘filling’ mode of operation (minimum release from Dartmouth Dam). The aim of the variable flow trials was to evaluate the biophysical response of instream environments to increased flow variability created by varying the release from Dartmouth Reservoir.

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