Introducing new Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder
David Papps (Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder) and Susie Pendle (Environmental Officer Renmark to the Border LAP) looking at Commonwealth environmental water delivery at Whirlpool Corner in South Australia 18 February 2013.
Photo: Ryan Breen CEWO.
David Papps has been appointed the new Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.
Mr Papps, who was most recently employed as the Director-General of the ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, started work just before Christmas and has been meeting with state governments, irrigators, environmental and community groups across the Murray-Darling Basin.
Mr Papps has extensive experience in natural resource management, sustainability and biodiversity conservation. He brings a fresh perspective to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office following a career spanning three states and both public and private sectors.
The use of environmental water and the decisions taken by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder are at the heart of Murray-Darling Basin reform. As the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Mr Papps now heads an office charged with the responsibility of rejuvenating wetlands, rivers and floodplains in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Nature Foundation South Australia and Commonwealth Environmental Water Office work together to improve river health
Nature Foundation South Australia first Commonwealth environmental water delivery to Clark's floodplain.
Photo: Nature Foundation South Australia.
Water has begun to flow through Clark's floodplain, south of Berri in South Australia, following an agreement between the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and Nature Foundation South Australia.
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and Nature Foundation entered into an agreement to deliver up to 50 gigalitres of environmental water to rivers and wetlands in the lower Murray-Darling Basin over the next five years.
Nature Foundation is the first non-government organisation to have responsibility for managing Commonwealth environmental water use at a local level. Clark's floodplain is a great example of "localism" in the basin at work with small but significant wetlands, sometimes on private land, benefiting from this kind of partnership.
Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and Nature Foundation will manage the use of Commonwealth environmental water to improve the health of smaller local wetland and floodplain sites in the lower River Murray which provide refuges for endangered and threatened native bird and fish species, such as the Regent Parrot and the Murray Hardyhead.
During 2012-13 the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office is contributing more than 600 gigalitres to achieving environmental outcomes in South Australia. This water will increase flows in the River Murray, which will sustain fish habitat and provide water for low-lying wetlands.
Nature Foundation works in partnership with private landholders, irrigators, the community, private sector and governments, and has a 30 year history of conservation achievements within the River Murray and surrounding land.
Commonwealth Environmental Water local engagement officers
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office has announced it will recruit six local engagement officers to help restore the Murray-Darling river system to health.
The officers will work with local communities to determine how best to use the environmental water outlined in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Local information and experience will help Commonwealth Environmental Water Office develop the most efficient ways of using environmental water, and local engagement officers will make it easier for Basin communities to offer suggestions or advice on the use of this water in their catchments.
The officers will be based in regional communities across the Basin and will work with state bodies and community networks such as catchment management authorities and advisory groups.
Local engagement officers are yet to be appointed and opportunities are available for catchment management authorities and other relevant organisations to assist with hosting them.
Commonwealth environmental water is managed by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to protect and restore rivers, wetlands and other environmental assets in the Murray-Darling Basin. Every drop of Commonwealth environmental water is delivered in consultation with state governments and local community groups including catchment management authorities and landholders.
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