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History - Northern Victorian Rivers

Environmental watering in the catchment in previous years

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Campaspe catchment

2013-14

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2013-14
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Campaspe River  
Total in 2013-14  

Environmental watering in the Campaspe River 2013-14

Campaspe River, September 2012

Status: This action is complete.

About the watering

The overarching purpose of this watering action was to improve and maintain the ecological health and resilience of the system. A total of 6,517 ML of Commonwealth environmental water contributed to in-stream base flows and freshes in September 2013 within the Campaspe River in support of native fish reproduction and condition, hydrological connectivity and biotic dispersal. Return flows of 6,069 ML from the Campaspe River were used to support downstream actions throughout the Mid Murray, Lower Murray, Coorong and Lower Lakes, contributing to the protection, maintenance and improvement of the diversity and condition of water dependent native plants and animals (such as native fish), water quality and ecosystem function.

The watering action was managed in partnership with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Murray Water, North Central Catchment Management Authority and The Living Murray.

2012-13

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2012-13
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Campaspe River 6 820
Total in 2012-13 6 820

Campaspe River during environmental watering
© Darren White, North Central CMA

Campaspe River during environmental watering
© Darren White, North Central CMA

August 2012 – Campaspe River

Status: This action has been completed.

6,820 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was used in the Campaspe River in Victoria during 2012-13.

Commonwealth environmental water was 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. The enhancement of these flows aimed to:

  • Maintain the health and existing extent of riparian native vegetation communities, and provide reproduction and recruitment opportunities.
  • Provide habitat, breeding and recruitment opportunities for fish and invertebrates.
  • Support ecosystem functions that relate to the mobilisation, transport and dispersal of biotic and abiotic material, lateral and longitudinal connectivity to maintain populations, and the creation and maintenance of bed, bank and riparian habitat.

This watering action was managed in cooperation with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Murray Water and the North Central Catchment Management Authority.

2011-12

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2011-12
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Campaspe River 6 532
Total in 2011-12 6 532

2010-11

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2010-11
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Campaspe River 2 140
Total in 2010-11 2 140

Goulburn-Broken catchments

2013-14

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2013-14
Watering action Status of Commonwealth action
Upper Broken Creek Yet to commence
Lower Broken Creek In progress
Goulburn River In progress

Moodie's Swamp

Lower Broken Creek

Status

30 June 2014: This action is complete.

About the watering

The purpose of this watering action was to improve and maintain the ecological health and resilience of the system. 38,593.7 ML of Commonwealth environmental water contributed to in-stream base flows and freshes between August 2013 and May 2014 within the lower Broken Creek in support of native fish reproduction and condition, hydrological connectivity and the maintenance of water quality. Return flows from the use of Commonwealth water in the lower Broken Creek, totalling 33,183.8 ML, supported downstream actions throughout the Mid Murray, Lower Murray, Coorong and Lower Lakes, contributing to the protection, maintenance and improvement of the diversity and condition of water dependent native flora and fauna and ecosystem function.

The watering action was managed in partnership with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Murray Water and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority.

Upper Broken Creek

Status

30 June 2014: This action is complete.

About the watering

Commonwealth environmental water contributed to an in-stream fresh between August 2013 and March 2014 to support improved native fish condition, hydrological connectivity and biotic dispersal.

121 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was delivered within the Upper Broken Creek, and contributed to achieving the following outcomes:

  • flow variability
  • provide a wet dry zone at the channel edge
  • maintenance of aquatic habitats during periods of cease to flow
  • promote successional change in community composition through disturbance and habitat diversity.

This watering action was managed in partnership with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and Goulburn-Murray Water.

Environmental watering in the Goulburn River 2013-14

Status: This action is complete.

About the watering

Goulburn River

From 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, a total of 215,000 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was delivered in the Goulburn River to contribute to:

  • supporting the germination and growth of riparian native vegetation and improving river bank stability
  • submerging snags and improving the habitat of native fish so that they can breed and grow
  • moving fine sediment and leaf litter to provide habitat and food for macro-invertebrates while also maintaining suitable water quality for other native aquatic plants and animals
  • additional environmental benefits throughout the Mid Murray, Lower Murray, Coorong and Lower Lakes through the delivery of 214,892.4 ML in return flows that were made available for use downstream of the Goulburn river.

In addition to the above ecological outcomes, environmental flows in the Goulburn aim to promote native fish populations such as Murray cod, trout cod, silver perch, golden perch and river catfish. In 2013-14 fish monitoring detected a golden perch breeding event in response to an environmental flow, which was the first successful event recorded in a number of years. Future environmental watering actions will build on the lessons learned from this important outcome.

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder and The Living Murray program also contributed water to this environmental watering action.

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Broken Catchment Management Authority, the Goulburn-Murray Water, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office worked together to make this watering action possible.

2012-13

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2012-13
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Goulburn River 201 097
Lower Broken Creek 41 230
Upper Broken Creek 51 200
Total in 2012-13 293 527

Photo: Broken Creek at Numurkah ©Mattinbgn, Flickr

March 2013 - Upper Broken Creek

51 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was used during February-March 2013 in the upper Broken Creek to contribute to:

  • providing more natural flow variability
  • providing a wet dry zone at the channel edge
  • maintaining habitats during periods of cease to flow consistent with patterns from storms
  • promoting successional change in plant and animal community composition through disturbance and habitat diversity.

This action was managed in partnership with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Murray Water and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority.

Gum trees line Broken Creek ©MDBA Photographer: David Kleinert

July 2012 – Lower Broken Creek

41,230 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was used in the lower Broken Creek to contribute to enhancing the baseflows in the lower Broken Creek from September 2012 and May 2013. The enhancement of these flows aimed to:

  • facilitate fish movement through the fishway at Rices Weir
  • maintain native fish habitat, particularly during fish migration and breeding seasons (by maintaining optimal levels of dissolved oxygen and restricting excessive aquatic plant growth)
  • increase flows to the lower River Murray channel, Lower Lakes and Coorong for the purpose of maintaining aquatic habitat, supporting targeted lake levels, barrage releases and flows through the barrage fishways.

This watering action was managed in cooperation with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Murray Water, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

19 April 2012 – Goulburn - watering action to January 2013

Up to 231,937 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was delivered to the Goulburn River in Victoria between April 2012 and January 2013.

Environmental water was used by local river managers in the Goulburn catchment to complement natural flows and support the on-going recovery of river-dependent native animals and plants. The agreed water use action also contributed towards achieving multiple environmental benefits in the River Murray channel, Lower Lakes and Coorong.

In the short term, this watering action contributed towards providing and maintaining fish refuge habitats for remnant native fish and other aquatic animals in the Murray River which are at risk due to hypoxic blackwater entering the system from the Murrumbidgee River. It is not expected that the water use will fully counteract the negative impacts of the hypoxic blackwater, however, the water has been made available on the basis that a contribution to improving the flows will assist with maintaining or improving aquatic habitat.

This action will complement other Commonwealth environmental watering actions being currently undertaken as part of an integrated approach to improving conditions in the wider Murray River catchment. Water is also being delivered in the:

This watering action was managed by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority in cooperation with Goulburn-Murray Water, Victorian Environmental Water Holder, and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (River Murray Operations).

2011-12

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2011-12
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Lower Broken Creek 10 366
Goulburn River 96 900
Goulburn River 37 039
Broken River 51
Total in 2011-12 144 356

14 March 2012 – Goulburn - Update to watering action

Commonwealth environmental water deliveries were suspended on 27 February 2012 due to the large amount of rainfall in the catchment.

The watering action is currently being reviewed, taking into account catchment conditions.

December 2011 – Lower Broken Creek

10,366 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was used in the lower Broken Creek to contribute to enhancing the baseflows in the lower Broken Creek from December 2011 to May 2012 (action suspended late February-early May 2012). The enhancement of these flows aimed to support native fish habitat, particularly for large-bodied species such as the nationally vulnerable Murray cod, by:

  • maintaining water quality and dissolved oxygen levels
  • providing flows for fish passage through fishways
  • providing connectivity for fish passage between the lower Broken Creek and the Murray River.

This watering action was managed in cooperation with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Murray Water and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority.

11 November 2011 – Goulburn River

Up to 96.9 GL of environmental water was made available for use in the Goulburn River in Victoria during 2011-12. Commonwealth environmental water was delivered in conjunction with water from The Living Murray program to improve the health of the Goulburn River.

The priority for environmental water use in 2011-12 was to build on last year's flows that have contributed to restoration of the Goulburn River system, which followed ten or more years of drought.

The objectives for use of the water in 2011-12 were:

  1. Maintain base flows to:
    • Provide a range of slow shallow water and deep water habitat for fish, and create conditions for fish spawning and recruitment.
    • Provide habitat and food sources for macroinvertebrates by, for example, submersing snag habitat.
    • Maintain aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation on banks and bars.
  2. Provide pulse flows to:
    • Provide pre-spawning and movement cues for some native fish species such as golden perch.
    • Improve habitat for macroinvertebrates and native fish by disrupting biofilms, entraining litter packs as a food/habitat for macroinvertebrates and flushing fine sediments.
    • Promote dynamic and diverse food webs by improve planktonic algae production rates, biomass levels and community composition.
    • Provide pre-spawning and movement cues for some native fish species such as golden perch.
    • Contribute to geomorphic processes by maintaining natural rates of sediment mobilisation and deposition.

This watering action was managed in cooperation with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Murray Water and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority.

This action provided additional water to flows in South Australia to achieve environmental benefits in the Lower Murray River, the Lower Lakes and Coorong. These flows contributed to flows over the barrages to improve water quality in the Lower Lakes and Coorong.

For more information about this watering action, please see:

2010-11

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2010-11
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Broken River 24
Goulburn-Broken River 52 440
Total in 2010-11 52 464

Loddon catchment

2013-14

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2013-14
Watering action Status of Commonwealth action
Loddon River Completed

Environmental watering in the Loddon River 2013-14

Great Cormorant and Yellow-billed Spoonbill @ Laanecoorie

Status: This action is complete.

About the watering

The purpose of this watering action was to improve and maintain the ecological health and resilience of the Loddon River system. A total of 2,774.5 ML of Commonwealth environmental water contributed towards in-stream baseflows and freshes between September and November 2013 within the Loddon River in support of riparian vegetation condition, native fish reproduction and condition, hydrological connectivity and water quality.

The watering action was managed in partnership with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Murray Water and the North Central Catchment Management Authority.

2012-13

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2012-13
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Loddon River 2 745
Total in 2012-13 2 745

Photo: Loddon River from Hox bridge © North East CMA

July 2012 - Loddon River

2,745.5 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was used in the Loddon River in northern Victoria during 2012-13.

Commonwealth environmental water contributed to supporting variable flows throughout the 2012-13 water year. High priority watering actions targeted include winter/spring base flows between July and October 2012, and a 'spring fresh' planned between September and November 2012. The enhancement of these flows aimed to:

  • Support a range of native aquatic species, particularly through enabling native fish movement and improvements to macro-invertebrate habitat.
  • Ensure the maintenance of native vegetation within riparian communities is sustained in a healthy, dynamic and resilient condition.
  • Support key ecosystem functions, particularly those related to connectivity along the river.

This watering action was managed in cooperation with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, Goulburn-Murray Water and the North Central Catchment Management Authority.

2011-12

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2011-12
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Loddon River 1 564
Total in 2011-12 1 564

Photo: Loddon River © North East CMA

October 2011 - Loddon River

1,564 GL of Commonwealth environmental water was delivered to the Loddon River from 8 June 2011.

The purpose of this action was to support vegetation health and maintain water quality. The action did this by providing a winter-spring baseflow that:

  • maintained in-stream and riparian vegetation and contributed to vegetation condition
  • reduced encroachment by terrestrial vegetation
  • improved water quality.

The watering action was managed in cooperation with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and the North Central Catchment Management Authority.

2010-11

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2010-11
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Loddon River 427
Total in 2010-11 427

Ovens catchment

2013-14

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2013-14
Watering action Status of Commonwealth action
Ovens River Complete

Environmental watering in Ovens River system 2013-14

Lower Ovens River. Photo: © North East Catchment Management Authority

Status: This action is complete.

About the watering

70 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was delivered within the Ovens, King and Buffalo Rivers on 24 and 25 April 2014. The 70 ML of Commonwealth environmental water was in addition to 4.8 GL of bulk release drawdown water provided by Goulburn-Murray Water, resulting in a total watering action of 4.87 GL delivered in the Ovens system between 22 April and 5 May 2014.

The watering action contributed to achieving the following outcomes:

  • contribute toward flow variability
  • support the provision of shallow water habitat for macroinvertebrates and fish
  • contribute towards the disruption of biofilms
  • support water quality through the maintenance of wetted habitat.

The use of Commonwealth environmental water in the Ovens River system is managed by the North East Catchment Management Authority and Goulburn-Murray Water in consultation with Victorian Environmental Water Holder and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

2012-13

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2012-13
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Ovens River 20
Total in 2012-13 20

Environmental watering in Ovens River system 2012-13

Buffalo River, Nug Nug. Photo: © North East Catchment Management Authority

Status: This action has been completed.

About the watering

Commonwealth environmental water was made available for use in the Ovens River system (Ovens, King and Buffalo Rivers) in northern Victoria between February and June 2013.

Commonwealth environmental water was used to provide flows in the Ovens River that contributed towards maintaining the health of native plant communities in riverbank areas, such as River Red gums. It also contributed to supporting and connecting the habitat of native animal communities in the river, including fish, frogs, turtles and insects.

The use of Commonwealth environmental water in the Ovens River system was undertaken by the North East Catchment Management Authority and Goulburn-Murray Water in consultation with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

This watering action was managed in conjunction with the North East Catchment Management Authority and Goulburn-Murray Water.

2011-12

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2011-12
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Ovens River 70
Total in 2011-12 70

2009-11

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2009-11
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML)
Ovens catchment river flows 50
Total in 2009-11 50

Wimmera- Avoca catchment

To date, there has been no Commonwealth environmental water used in the Wimmera-Avoca catchment.