A new report released today highlights the value of environmental water to Victoria, showing it supports and protects native animals, rivers and wetlands across the state.
The ‘Reflections: Water for the Environment in Victoria’ report is published annually by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) and highlights the value of environmental water to communities.
The report outlines environmental watering across 127 river and wetland systems statewide, including the release of more than 839,000ML of environmental water in 2016-17 specifically timed to trigger fish breeding, boost vegetation, improve water quality and provide habitat for birds and animals.
The report has revealed that environmental water is also providing recreation opportunities for kayaking and fishing and is providing a flow on effect to the economy.
Some other examples of environmental water in use include:
- Enticing fish to breed across more than 500 kilometres from the River Murray into Victorian waterways
- The banks of the Goulburn River avoided flood collapse partly due to environmental water
- An environmental flow helped the Goulburn River bounce back from a natural blackwater event
- The Campaspe River had a boost in the numbers of silver perch for the first time in 10 years
- Numbers of juvenile Murray cod were at their highest recorded levels in the Campaspe River
- The endangered Australian grayling was monitored in the Thompson River to provide the most effective environmental flow rate for its survival
- More frogs and birds and fewer weeds for Yering Backswamp and the Banyule Billabong on the Yarra River
- Platypus and native fish populations in the Wimmera River continued to recover
- The central Murray wetlands became a waterbird haven with the return of rare Australasian bitterns as well as magpie geese thought to be extinct in the region
The delivery of water for the environment is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $222 million investment over four years to improve the health of waterways and catchments in regional Victoria.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“Victoria’s environmental watering program is carefully planned with local communities, to support the state’s rivers and wetlands and the wildlife that depends on them.”
“Waterways are being restored in the heart of Victorian communities to ensure they remain healthy and can be enjoyed by locals and visitors for years to come."
Quote attributable to Victorian Environmental Water Holder Commissioner Denis Flett
“Water for the environment is providing many benefits – fish species returning to rivers in which they were previously extinct, birds flocking to watered wetlands, trees thriving, river banks stabilising and the landscape coming to life.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020