Commonwealth Environmental Water Office banner

Loddon catchment

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2013-14

Watering action Status of Commonwealth action
Loddon River Completed

A summary of Commonwealth environmental watering from previous years in the Loddon River is included below. For further information about Commonwealth environmental watering in the Loddon catchment and the outcomes achieved, please refer to the Commonwealth environmental water Outcomes Reports and Annual Reports.

Planning for 2014-15

Commonwealth environmental water use options 2014-15: Victorian Rivers identifies potential Commonwealth environmental watering actions for 2014-15. Decisions on using Commonwealth environmental water will be made throughout the year based on seasonal, operational and management considerations. If you wish to provide suggestions for Commonwealth environmental water use please contact us at ewater@environment.gov.au or send us your suggestion by visiting: Your suggestions for potential water use options.

Water availability and portfolio management

The Loddon catchment is part of the northern Victorian rivers system which includes the Goulburn, Broken, Campaspe, Loddon and Ovens rivers and Broken Creek.

Loddon catchment water holdings at 31 October 2014
Security Registered entitlements (ML) Long Term Average Annual Yield (ML) Carryover from 2013-14 (ML) New allocations in 2014-15 (ML) Available water transferred for delivery or delivered directly in 2014-15 (ML) Estimated current Commonwealth water account balance (ML)
High 2,870 2,726 - 2,870 2,870 0
Low 527 142
Total 3,397 2,868 - 2,870 2,870 0

Subject to water accounting adjustments. Slight discrepancies may exist due to rounding. Allocations of water against entitlements held in regulated systems are made periodically and will depend on factors including seasonal inflows and rules associated with water accounts. Water can be transferred across catchments in the southern connected basin, subject to trading rules. Southern connected basin includes the following hydrologically connected catchments: Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon, Murray (SA, Victoria, and NSW), Lower Darling, and Murrumbidgee. Allocations are transferred to the Commonwealth following registration of the entitlements on the relevant State register.

Southern-connected Basin water holdings* at 31 October 2014
Security Registered entitlements (ML) Long Term Average Annual Yield (ML) Carryover from 2013-14 (ML) New allocations in 2014-15 (ML) Available water transferred for delivery or delivered directly in 2014-15 (ML) Estimated current Commonwealth water account balance (ML)
High 681,671 641,435 293,380 799,430 473,577 619,233
General/Low 600,698 429,527
Conveyance 18,843 17,592
Supplementary 21,031 3,070
Total 1,322,242 1,091,624 293,380 799,430 473,577 619,233

*Water allocations in southern-connected Basin catchments can, with some restrictions, be traded to other catchments in the southern-connected Basin. This gives the Commonwealth the capacity to move water between catchments of the southern-connected Basin to get the best outcomes for the environment.

For more information regarding the characteristics of entitlements and the water resource plan held in the Loddon catchment please refer to Victoria's Department of Environment and Primary Industries

Water trading

Information on future trade considerations is available at: Portfolio Management Update

Information on current trading actions is available at: Current Trading Actions

Information on previous trading actions is available at: Trading Outcomes

Environmental watering in the catchment in previous years

Environmental watering in the catchment in 2012-13
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML) Status of action
Loddon River 2 745 Completed
Total in 2012-13 2 745  
Environmental watering in the catchment in 2011-12
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML) Status of action
Loddon River 1 564 Completed
Total in 2011-12 1 564  
Environmental watering in the catchment in 2010-11
Watering action Amount of water delivered (ML) Status of action
Loddon River 427 Completed
Total in 2010-11 427  

Catchment profile

Where is it?

The Loddon catchment, situated in northern Victoria, stretches from the relatively well-watered highlands around Daylesford, through gently rolling country to the north and west, to the dry expanses of the northern Victorian plains. The total area of the catchment is 13,321 km2.

The major watercourse is the Loddon River which rises on the northern slopes of the Great Dividing Range and flows northward through Central Victoria before joining the Murray River.

The region supports extensive agricultural production. The upper catchment is predominately intensive horticulture, with mixed farming (including dairy farming) and cereal cropping in the mid and lower areas of the catchment. Apiculture (bee keeping), forestry and gold mining also occur in the region.

Major townships include Bendigo, Swan Hill, Kerang, Castlemaine and Maryborough.

Southern Catchments page

Legend


Ramsar site


DIWA site

Loddon-Avoca Catchment

What makes this place so special?

Plains Wanderer

Plains Wanderer

Photo: Goulburn Broken CMA

The Boort District Wetlands are located within the Loddon catchment and provide important refugia for species in a heavily modified catchment. These wetlands include Lake Boort, Little Lake Boort, Lake Yando, Lake Leaghur, Lake Meran and Little Lake Meran. They represent an assortment of wetland types including shallow and deep freshwater marshes. One of these deepwater marshes, the Woolshed Swamp, is recognised as nationally important under the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.

The Loddon catchment is ecologically significant because it:

There are also a range of parks within the catchment which are recognised as being of regional or national importance, such as Terrick Terrick, Greater Bendigo and Kooyoora State Parks.

What does the latest science say about the ecological health of the catchment?

The Sustainable Rivers Audit (SRA), coordinated by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, provides scientifically robust assessments of the ecological health of the Basin's river valleys. The overall ecosystem health of the Loddon catchment as reported by the SRA is summarised below.

SRA Report Overall ecosystem health of catchment
SRA 1 (based on data collected from 2004 to 2007) Very poor
SRA 2 (based on data collected from 2008 to 2010) Very poor

The CSIRO Sustainable Yields project produced a report on the Loddon-Avoca region that provides details on current and future water availability. This report details information for both the Loddon and Avoca River regions. Therefore this report can only be used to obtain an indication of water availability for the Loddon catchment, as it is described above.

The CSIRO report on the Loddon-Avoca region indicated that water resource development has reduced the frequency and magnitude of small winter floods that benefit riparian and floodplain ecosystems along the lower Loddon River. The average period between small winter floods has increased from around 10 months to 18 months and the average annual flooding volume of small winter floods has halved.

Environmental water delivery references

Environmental water delivery: Loddon River collates current knowledge of the operational and administrative arrangements for the delivery of environmental water to the Loddon River. The document provides an overview of the environmental assets and potential environmental water use options. This work has been undertaken to support the efficient and effective use of environmental water and to engage communities on how this may best be achieved. This aims to encourage community discussion and feedback on the use of environmental water, to identify future opportunities and recognise operational risks and constraints. Comments on the document are encouraged and can be provided to: ewater@environment.gov.au