Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
World Water Day - environmental water flows
22 March 2010
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Mr Ian Robinson, has announced on World Water Day that several additional wetlands across the Murray-Darling Basin would benefit from the allocation of environmental water.
"Four sites in South Australia - Morgan Conservation Park, Paiwalla, Wigley, and Weila - and one site, Kulkurna, in New South Wales have been allocated a combined 1,220 megalitres (ML) of water to maintain wetland and floodplain vegetation and provide aquatic habitat for threatened species," Mr Robinson said.
Morgan Conservation Park, located near the town of Morgan, has been allocated 330 ML to support river red gums and provide a habitat for threatened species, including the southern bell frog and regent parrot, listed as vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Located near Murray Bridge on the River Murray, Paiwalla Wetland's allocation of 241 ML will help provide an important freshwater refuge for migratory birds and other water-dependent species including the southern bell frog and the nationally vulnerable Australian painted snipe. In addition, Paiwalla wetland will also receive a contribution of 134 ML of water from the South Australian Government.
Rainfall in the Macquarie and Murrumbidgee catchments of New South Wales over the last four months has also allowed the use of supplementary flow entitlements to help restore the health of wetlands and rivers.
"From these recent events, the Commonwealth and the NSW Government were able to make use of these recovered entitlements to allow 1,500 ML of water to flow through to the Macquarie Marshes and about 2,000 ML to flow to the Lowbidgee floodplain in the Murrumbidgee Catchment," Mr Robinson said.
"The Macquarie Marshes are one of the last remaining inland semi-permanent wetlands in NSW, supporting over 300 plant species and a number of threatened vegetation communities, as well as 11 native fish species and a large number of waterbirds.
"The additional flows mean the volume of Commonwealth water allocated to the environment is now approaching 80,000 ML from water entitlements acquired under the Australian Government's $12.9 billion Water for the Future initiative."
Further information on environmental watering is available at: www.environment.gov.au/water/policy-programs/cewh/index.html