The management, delivery and monitoring of Commonwealth environmental water relies on considerable advice and assistance from local organisations, state governments and others.
Individuals and groups within the Murray-Darling Basin community are encouraged to submit suggestions for the use of Commonwealth environmental water.
This includes, but is not limited to, catchment management authorities, not-for-profit organisations, community groups, Indigenous organisations, and landholders.
The following information outlines the steps involved in developing a proposal for the use of Commonwealth environmental water.
Complete your expression of interest form
The first steps are to download and fill out the Commonwealth environmental watering expression of interest form.
- Expression of interest: Commonwealth environmental water potential watering option (PDF - 165 KB) | (Word - 106 KB)
Once you have completed your expression of interest form, please send it to us via post or email.
You will need to provide:
- your name and contact details
- a brief description of the site
- a brief description of the need for environmental water
- your best estimate of the size, timing and duration of the proposed watering action, and/or a description of possible longer-term watering arrangements, if relevant, and
- brief details of any co-contribution that could support the Commonwealth's investment in the watering action.
All information in your expression of interest will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.
Can I get advice before I start my expression of interest?
Yes you can. Please call 02 6274 1111 (switchboard for the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities) and ask to speak with:
- the Director of the Northern Delivery Section within the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (for any expression of interest located in the northern catchments of the Basin), or
- the Director of the Southern Delivery Section within the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (for an expression of interest located in the southern catchments of the Basin)
If you chose to submit your expression of interest via mail, electronic copies of documentation (CD/DVD or by email) are appreciated.
For an expression of interest located in the northern catchments of the Murray-Darling Basin please mail your expression of interest to:
Northern Delivery Section
Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601
For an expression of interest located in the southern catchments of the Murray-Darling Basin please mail your expression of interest to:
Southern Delivery Section
Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
GPO Box 787
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Please email your expression of interest to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please make sure that your email:
- is clearly marked in the subject line as a 'Expression of Interest - Commonwealth environmental watering'
- attach your completed expression of interest form as a Word file and, if possible, a PDF file.
- is below five megabytes (5mb) in file size. To minimise file size you may need to reduce the use of images/photos included in your expression of interest.
Staff from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will contact you to confirm the receipt of your expression of interest.
What happens after I submit my expression of interest?
Staff from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will make a preliminary assessment of your suggested environmental watering option as outlined in your expression of interest. We will then contact you to help you develop a more detailed proposal and consider arrangements for use, or to discuss why your suggestion was not considered feasible at this time. In some cases, we may suggest that you develop your proposal in coordination with other organisations, such as state governments or other environmental managers.
Developing the proposal
Developing the proposal will involve providing more detailed information about the suggested use of Commonwealth environmental water so that we can consider how it aligns with the following five criteria for assessing environmental watering actions:
- the ecological significance of the asset(s)
- the expected ecological outcomes from the proposed watering action
- the potential risks of the proposed watering action at the site and at connected locations
- the long-term sustainability of the asset(s) including appropriate management arrangements, and
- the cost-effectiveness and operational feasibility of undertaking the watering.
Assessment and decision
Staff from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will then assess the merit of your proposal against the five criteria and provide a recommendation to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, who will make the decision about the use of the water.
In addition to the information you provide, the decision to provide environmental water will include considerations such as:
- the amount of available Commonwealth environment water
- the current water availability scenario
- the priority of the proposal relative to the range of other potential environmental watering actions across the Basin
- the current and expected operational environment (e.g. river height, management arrangements for delivery), and
- advice from state governments, river operators, local site managers and the Environmental Water Scientific Advisory Committee.
For more information on the assessment process, please see the Framework for determining Commonwealth environmental water use.
Delivery and reporting phase
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will coordinate closely with all delivery partners to establish arrangements for the delivery of the water. These arrangements will include provision for monitoring and reporting on the outcomes of the watering action. Once a decision has been made, the water will be delivered and information will be made available about the action on the Commonwealth Environmental Water website.
If you have any questions about this process, or any other comments or suggestions, please call the contacts referred to above or send an email to: email@example.com.
Case study: Paiwalla wetlands
Photo: Paiwalla wetlands (CEWO)
A local community group called the Wetlands Habitats Trust helped provide 970 megalitres of environmental water to the Paiwalla wetlands between 2009 and 2010. The Trust worked with the Australian Government and the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board to deliver the water and monitor the environmental outcomes. Commonwealth environmental water was used in the wetlands to provide refuge for migratory birds as well as fish and frog populations.
Case study: Jimaringle and Cockran creeks
Photo: Cockran Creek (CEWO)
In 2011, 3,557 ML of state and Commonwealth environmental water was used in the Jimaringle and Cockran creeks to improve water quality and vegetation health. This watering action was developed after local landholders and community members sought the help of the Australian Government, Murray Catchment Management Authority, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Murray Irrigation Limited to implement their Action Plan, which aims to restore the creeks.