[talk-au] Proposed deletion of part of the Gwydir River

cleary osm at 97k.com
Mon Jun 24 08:19:58 UTC 2019

In the past, I added some parts of the Gwydir River to the map using the NSW LPI Base Map because I could not see a clear waterway on satellite imagery. Since then, I have visited the area twice and cannot actually find a river where it is shown on the map. Much of the "river" is in private property but public roads cross waterways at various locations.  

The western end of the Gwydir River seems not to exist except on the NSW LPI Base Map and maps which have used it as a source (including OSM).

As far as I can ascertain, the river used to dissipate into wetlands and, if there was enough water, the seepage from the wetlands re-formed into waterways. However intensive irrigation has resulted in such low water flow that the wetlands are largely dust and water seems never to flow beyond them (except perhaps in major flood events which are relatively rare).  Water from the eastern Gwydir may flow west to the Barwon River via Carole Creek into Gil Gil Creek, via the Gingham Watercourse and via the Mehi River.  But the so-called Gwydir River, west of the wetlands, does not appear to exist except on the LPI Map. And part that of the waterway that does exist is signposted by the Moree Plains Shire Council with a different name (Big Leather Watercourse) at the two places where it crosses public roads.  GNB uses this name for another branch of the river nearer to Moree but locals, including the local council, seem to have a different view.

When visiting the area, I found water to be difficult to discuss with locals as there are some strong points of view. Maintaining a river on the map may be a political imperative for government but is not consistent with OSM's philosophy of mapping what is actually on the ground at particular locations.

After reflection, I think the Gwydir River does not really exist west of the wetlands and I think it should be deleted from OSM, even though it is shown on the LPI Base Map. I propose to delete this section of the river and follow the local council signposted name for the more westerly waterway that does actually exist at Morialta and Watercourse Roads.

I would appreciate any views on this issue.

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