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News: 2012-13

June 2013

Environmental watering in Lower Lachlan Swamps

6 June 2013 Environmental water is being provided to the floodplain and wetland areas downstream of Booligal targeting the Lower Lachlan Swamps; principally Lake Waljeers and Peppermint Swamp. This is the largest use of water entitlement held by the Commonwealth and State governments in the Lachlan River system ever.

For more information see:

Environmental watering in the Goulburn River catchment

6 June 2013 Environmental water is being provided to the Goulburn River between July and December 2013 to support to the regeneration of river bank native plant communities, maintaining habitat and water quality for a range of native animals.

For more information see: Environmental watering in Goulburn River catchment

Commonwealth environmental water annual water use options 2013-14 are now available

6 June 2013 Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, David Papps, today announced the release of planning documents outlining options for using Commonwealth environmental water in 2013-14.

These documents are now available from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office website at:

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office welcomes information from the community on how environmental water can best be managed including further suggestions on the water use options. If you have any comments or suggestions, please call 1800 218 478 or send an email to: ewater@environment.gov.au.

April 2013

Environmental watering in Paika Lake, Murrumbidgee catchment

16 April 2013 Environmental water is being provided to Paika Lake between April and June 2013 to support the ongoing regeneration of native wetland plant communities and maintain habitat for a range of native animals.

For more information see: Environmental watering in Paika Lake, Murrumbidgee catchment

Environmental water for the River Murray

12 April 2013 Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, David Papps, today announced that a further 150 gigalitres of environmental water is now being delivered within the River Murray to June 2013, with key benefits for the River Murray channel, Coorong and Lower Lakes.

Commonwealth Environmental Water Office 2011-12 Outcomes Report now available

3 April 2013 The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office 2011-12 Outcomes Report is now available. This report outlines the environmental benefits that have resulted from Commonwealth environmental watering in the Murray-Darling Basin in 2011-12.

To view and download the report see: Commonwealth Environmental Water Office 2011-12 Outcomes Report

To order a paper copy of the report see: the Department's ordering publications web page.

March 2013

Updated portfolio management statements are now available

28 March 2013 The updated portfolio management statements outline the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office's potential approach to the use, carryover and trade of Commonwealth environmental water in a number of Basin catchments for the remainder of 2012-13. These statements will continue to be updated as the approach to portfolio management is adjusted in response to actual seasonal conditions. The next routine update is anticipated in June/July 2013, however further updates may be released in response to a significant change in circumstances.

For more information see: Portfolio management statements

February 2013

First Commonwealth Environmental Watering for Nature Foundation

18 February 2013 Nature Foundation South Australia has begun pumping Commonwealth environmental water on to the floodplains and wetlands that support vulnerable plant and animal life near the Murray River National Park and downstream of Chowilla floodplain in South Australia's Riverland.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps was a guest speaker at a Nature Foundation event today which celebrated the start of watering on Clark's Floodplain, the first Commonwealth environmental watering project under the Nature Foundation's Water for Nature initiative.

For more information see: Environmental watering on Clark's floodplain with Nature Foundation SA

Local engagement officers for Commonwealth environmental watering

6 February 2013 Water Minister Tony Burke today announced the Gillard Government will recruit specialised local staff to work with the community to help restore the Murray-Darling Basin to health.

Up to six Commonwealth Environmental Water local engagement officers will be based in regional communities across the Basin and work with local people to determine how best to use the environmental water outlined in the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

For more information see: Local engagement officers for environmental watering  - media release 6 February 2013

December 2012

Environmental watering in the Mallowa Wetlands, Gwydir catchment

21 December 2012 For the first time environmental water is being provided to the Mallowa Wetlands to support the ongoing restoration of native wetland plant communities and maintain habitat for native animals. The Commonwealth has made available an initial 2,500 megalitres towards the New South Wales watering action. The watering action is occurring over summer and the total volume of Commonwealth environmental water used will depend on seasonal conditions and rainfall.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Mallowa Wetlands, Gwydir catchment

Environmental watering in the Gwydir Wetlands

21 December 2012 Environmental water is being provided to the Gwydir Wetlands to support the ongoing restoration of native wetland plant communities and maintain habitat for important native animals. The Commonwealth has made available an initial 20,000 megalitres towards the New South Wales watering action. The watering action is occurring over summer and the total volume of Commonwealth environmental water used will depend on seasonal conditions and rainfall.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Gwydir Wetlands

Updated portfolio management statements are now available

21 December 2012 The updated portfolio management statements outline the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office's potential approach to the use, carryover and trade of Commonwealth environmental water in a number of Basin catchments for the remainder of 2012-13. These statements will continue to be updated as the approach to portfolio management is adjusted in response to actual seasonal conditions. The next routine update is anticipated in late March 2013, however further updates may be released in response to a significant change in circumstances.

For more information see: Portfolio Management Statements

Environmental watering in the Border Rivers catchment

7 December 2012 Commonwealth environmental water has been made available for use in the Border Rivers catchment. The Commonwealth is providing up to 8,000 megalitres of environmental water to be used in combination with water supplied by the NSW Government and releases of water to meet general security irrigation orders. Environmental releases to the NSW Severn River will commence from Pindari Dam on 1 December 2012. The combined action is expected to stimulate the aquatic food chain and provide food sources and habitat improvements for aquatic organisms such as aquatic insects, fish, platypus and bird life.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Border Rivers catchment

Environmental watering in the Lower Murray River, South Australia

4 December 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will contribute towards achieving environmental outcomes at Whirlpool Corner, Disher Creek, Berri Basin, Lower Murray River channel, Lower Lakes, Coorong and the Murray Estuary. The Commonwealth has made available:

  • a further 98,853 ML in the lower Murray River, Lower Lakes and Coorong during 2012-13
  • up to 1,400 ML of environmental water to the Disher Creek and Berri Basin, and
  • up to 500 ML of environmental water for pumping into Whirlpool Corner.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Lower Murray River, South Australia

November 2012

A New Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder

30 November 2012 Water Minister Tony Burke has announced that David Papps has been appointed as the new Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder. Mr Papps, who is currently employed as the Director-General of the ACT Environmental and Sustainable Development Directorate, will start in the role before Christmas.

For more information see: New Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder Appointed  - media release 30 November 2012

Environmental watering in the lower Namoi River

21 November 2012 For the first time Commonwealth environmental water has been made available for use inthe lower Namoi River. The Commonwealth is providing up to 7.7 gigalitres of environmental water to contribute to securing a healthy and diverse native fish community in the lower Namoi River in New South Wales.

For more information see: Commonwealth environmental watering in the lower Namoi River

Environmental watering in the Macquarie catchment

8 November 2012 Up to 100 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water has been made available for use in the Macquarie Marshes in New South Wales, during 2012-13. Commonwealth environmental water will be delivered in conjunction with up to 240 gigalitres of environmental water supplied by the New South Wales Government. Delivery of held environmental water commenced on November 8, 2012 and is expected to continue into January 2013.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Macquarie catchment

Environmental watering in the Lachlan catchment

2 November 2012 Up to 10 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water has been approved to be used in conjunction with water supplied by the New South Wales Government in the Lachlan catchment over spring and summer 2012. Environmental water will contribute to supporting waterbird breeding events which may commence following a wet autumn and winter.

For more information see: Lachlan catchment

October 2012

Environmental watering in the Murray River valley

31 October 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will be delivered to the Murray River during spring and summer as part of a coordinated approach to environmental water delivery across the southern connected basin. Environmental water will contribute to maintaining and improving the health of wetland and riparian vegetation, providing spawning opportunities for native fish and providing additional inflows to the Lower Lakes and Coorong to manage water quality.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Murray River valley

Environmental watering Tuppal creek (Edward-Wakool catchment)

31 October 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will be used in conjunction with water supplied by the New South Wales Government in Tuppal creek in spring 2012. Environmental water will contribute to providing an end-of-system flow, maintaining and improving water quality and vegetation health, and supporting the breeding, recruitment and habitat requirements of native animals.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Tuppal creek

Environmental watering in the Edward-Wakool River System (Murray catchment)

24 October 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will be used in the Edward-Wakool River System between spring 2012 and autumn 2013. Environmental water will contribute to supporting the movement, breeding and recruitment of native fish, the habitat requirements of native fish and other native species, and ecosystem functions related to habitat connectivity.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Edward-Wakool River System – Full Report 1

Commonwealth works with Nature Foundation South Australia to deliver water

24 October 2012 The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder has signed an agreement with Nature Foundation South Australia to make up to 50 gigalitres of environmental water available for the lower Murray River wetlands and floodplains over the next five years.

For more information see: Commonwealth works with Nature Foundation South Australia to deliver water - Media release 24 October 2012

Environmental watering of Hobblers Lake, Cherax Swamp and associated wetlands in 2012-13

16 October 2012 Up to 6 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water has been made available for use in lake and wetland areas of the western lower Murrumbidgee floodplain near Balranald, New South Wales, during spring 2012. Commonwealth environmental water will be used in conjunction with 2 gigalitres of NSW government environmental water. It will build on the outcomes achieved for previous environmental watering undertaken by the NSW government and will contribute to:

  • maintaining the health and regeneration of native plant communities in Cherax Swamp, Yarrawol Creek and Narwie West, Reed Bed and Black Box wetlands.
  • the establishment and growth of native plant communities in Hobblers Lake and Penarie Creek which have been isolated from the floodplain and have not received environmental water before.
  • providing good quality habitat for native animals including waterbirds, fish and frogs.

For more information see: Environmental watering of Hobblers Lake, Cherax Swamp and associated wetlands in 2012-13

Environmental watering for fish in the Murrumbidgee River

16 October 2012 Up to 190 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water has been made available to support the breeding and growth of native fish communities in the mid and lower Murrumbidgee River below Darlington Point, New South Wales. Commonwealth environmental water is expected to be delivered during October-November 2012. The commencement date of the watering action will depend on rainfall, local weather conditions, and advice from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) relating to the best breeding conditions in the area for Murray cod and trout cod. The environmental water will contribute to:

  • maintaining inundation of native fish breeding habitat long enough (approximately 40 days) to ensure breeding success
  • increasing flows over a four to five day period to help native fish disperse throughout the river at the end of the breeding season
  • providing a gradual decrease in flows over a period of approximately 15 days to limit the risk of stranding native fish that may have continued to occupy breeding habitat.

For more information see: Environmental watering for fish in the Murrumbidgee River

Monitoring of ecosystem responses to the delivery of environmental water in the Edward-Wakool river system, 2011-12 - Report 1

10 October 2012 The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office engaged Charles Sturt University to monitor the ecological response to environmental water delivered to the Edward-Wakool river system during the 2011-12 water year. This is the first of two reports published on this monitoring. The second and final report is expected in late 2012.

For more information see: Monitoring of ecosystem responses to the delivery of environmental water in the Edward-Wakool river system, 2011-12 - Report 1

September 2012

Environmental watering in the Ovens River system (Ovens catchment)

20 September 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will be used to supplement base flows and/or a natural fresh in the Ovens River system (Ovens, King and Buffalo Rivers) between February and June 2013. The water use action will aim to contribute to the following objectives:

  • Supporting habitat requirements of native aquatic species, including fish, frogs, turtles and invertebrates.
  • Contribute to maintaining the health and existing extent of native riparian vegetation communities.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Ovens River

Environmental watering in Gunbower Creek (Murray catchment)

20 September 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will be used to contribute to baseflows in the Gunbower Creek from August to November 2012 and March to June 2013. Commonwealth environmental water will contribute to maintaining baseflows to support habitat requirements for breeding and recruitment of native fish.

This action supports the effective and efficient use of environmental water by achieving multi-site benefits in the southern connected basin through the re-use of water from other Commonwealth actions in the Goulburn and Campaspe Rivers and lower Broken Creek.

For more information see: Environmental watering in Gunbower Creek

Environmental watering in the Jimaringle, Cockran and Gwynnes creeks (Edward-Wakool catchment)

17 September 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will be used in conjunction with water supplied by the New South Wales Government in the Jimaringle, Cockran and Gywnnes creeks in spring 2012. Environmental water will contribute to maintaining and improving water quality and vegetation health, and supporting the breeding, recruitment and habitat requirements of native animals.

For more information see: Environmental watering in Jimaringle, Cockran and Gwynnes creeks

Commonwealth environmental water Annual water use options 2012-13, related fact sheets and Portfolio management statements are now available

17 September 2012 The Commonwealth environmental water Annual water use options 2012-13, related fact sheets and Portfolio management statements for nine regulated catchments of the Murray-Darling Basin are now available from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office website at:

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office welcomes information from the community on how environmental water can best be managed including further suggestions on the water use options. If you have any comments or suggestions, please call 1800 218 478 or send an email to: ewater@environment.gov.au.

August 2012

Environmental watering in the Campaspe River

29 August 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will be used to provide base flows and freshes to support the maintenance of native riparian vegetation, fish and macroinvertebrates, and ecosystem function, with end of system flows to contribute to environmental objectives in the lower River Murray.

For more information see: Environmental watering in the Campaspe River

Commonwealth environmental water carryover from 2011-12 into 2012-13

23 August 2012 This is an annual report on the volume of water that has been carried over from 2011-12 by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

For more information see: Commonwealth environmental water carryover from 2011-12 into 2012-13

July 2012

Murray-Darling Basin Environmental Water Holders Report

31 July 2012 For the first time, environmental water holders have collaborated to produce an 'Environmental Water Holders Report'. It was presented to the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council in June 2012.

Environmental watering in the Loddon River (Loddon catchment)

16 July 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will be used to contribute to supporting variable flows throughout the 2012-13 water year. High priority watering actions targeted include base flows between July and October 2012, and a 'spring fresh' planned between September and November 2012. Enhancing existing river flows throughout these periods is designed to support native aquatic species, native vegetation within riparian communities, and key ecosystem functions, particularly those related to connectivity along the Loddon River.

Environmental watering in lower Broken Creek (Goulburn-Broken catchment)

2 July 2012 Commonwealth environmental water will be used to contribute to elevated baseflows in lower Broken Creek from August 2012 to May 2013. Enhancing the flows will maintain and improve native fish habitat, movement and breeding opportunity, with return flows to contribute to environmental objectives in the Lower River Murray channel, Lower Lakes, and the Coorong.

For more information see: Environmental watering in lower Broken Creek