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Wimmera-Avoca catchment

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 or send us your suggestion by visiting: Your suggestions for potential water use options.

Water availability and portfolio management

For more information regarding the characteristics of entitlements and the water resource plan held in the Wimmera-Avoca 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

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

Catchment profile

Where is it?

The Wimmera-Avoca catchment is located in western Victoria and covers an area of 44,227 km2. The catchment centres on the Wimmera and Avoca Rivers. Neither river connects with the Murray River. Both rivers terminate in lakes and wetlands and play a critical role in supporting water-dependent species located there.

Southern Catchment


Ramsar site

DIWA site

Wimmera Catchment

What makes this place so special?

The Avoca River terminates at the Kerang Wetlands, which are listed as Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. The Avoca River provides flows to the wetlands that in turn, provide habitat for a range of native and migratory species. Many of these species are listed and protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999. The Kerang Wetlands support communities of river red gum, black box and tangled lignum species that provide critical habitat for protected bird species.

The Wimmera River terminates at Lake Hindmarsh, the largest inland freshwater lake in Victoria. Lake Hindmarsh is nationally significant and is listed under the Directory of Important Wetlands of Australia. In wet years, water can overflow from the lake and fill Lake Albacutya, an internationally important wetland listed under the Ramsar Convention.

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 Avoca Valley and Wimmera Valley 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) Poor

The CSIRO Sustainable Yields Report produced two reports on current and future water availability relevant to the Wimmera-Avoca catchment. These reports, on the Wimmera region and the Loddon-Avoca regions can be used to obtain an indication of water availability for the Wimmera-Avoca catchment, as it is described above.