The Chowilla Floodplain prior to the environmental watering in March 2009
Photo credit: Mark Mohell
Environmental watering is the delivery or use of environmental water to achieve environmental outcomes. The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder is responsible for managing all water purchased by the Australian Government.
The water available to the CEWH to carry out environmental watering is acquired through two programs:
- Restoring the Balance in the Murray Darling Basin, which allows willing sellers to have their water entitlements purchased on the open market, in the form of licenses.
- Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program, which assists irrigation communities by supporting improvements to the efficiency of irrigation in Australia, and in turn gains water for the environment.
Watch videos showing:
Due to the impacts of climate change and drought, many Australian river systems are stressed. Part of the work the CEWH does is to determine the critical areas that will most benefit from return of water.
In any given year the amount of water available for use by the CEWH will be determined by the water's entitlement type, and the seasonal water allocations against that entitlement. For specific information on the Commonwealth's environmental water holdings to date see: Commonwealth environmental water holdings
For up-to-date information about the Water for the Future initiative.