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New plan provides the blueprint for environmental watering in Victoria in 2012-13

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) released its second Seasonal Watering Plan today, providing the blueprint for Victoria's environmental watering program in 2012-13.

Lake BoortThe Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) released its second Seasonal Watering Plan today, providing the blueprint for Victoria's environmental watering program in 2012-13.

The Seasonal Watering Plan 2012-13 sets the scope for where, when, how and why environmental water will be used across Victoria's rivers, wetlands and floodplains, building on the solid foundation established in the 2011-12 plan.

Denis Flett, VEWH Chairperson said the plan includes environmental watering programs for 17 systems across Victoria.

"The seasonal watering plan takes in the Snowy, Latrobe, Thomson, Macalister, Yarra, Tarago, Werribee, Barwon, Barwon, Glenelg, Wimmera, Goulburn, Broken, Campaspe, and Loddon systems and the Wimmera-Mallee wetlands and northern Victorian wetlands," Mr Flett said.

"For each system, a range of possible seasonal conditions, from very dry to very wet, have been considered which allows us to manage to actual conditions as the year unfolds."

In 2011-12, Victoria's rivers, wetlands and floodplains faced another year of average to wet conditions, with many systems experiencing their second or third consecutive year of natural flooding.  This brought with it a number of challenges for regional communities, but also provided the opportunity for much-needed recovery of plant and animal populations following the extended and severe drought experienced since 1997.

"Environmental watering in 2012-13 will largely focus on building on this environmental recovery and further enhancing the priority environmental values of Victoria's rivers, wetlands and floodplains," he said.

In addition, the plan considers how to coordinate delivery of water from our Water Holdings with environmental water managed by others, including partners in the Living Murray program and Commonwealth Environmental Water.  It also considers the use of carryover and trade. These opportunities will be assessed throughout the season and undertaken only where they optimise environmental outcomes.

The seasonal watering plan has been informed by seasonal watering proposals developed by catchment management authorities and Melbourne Water in consultation with local communities and other partner agencies.

Environmental water releases will not be made where there is a likelihood of flooding private land or property, except in circumstances where prior consent is in place with the landholders involved.

The Seasonal Watering Plan will be available for download here or by contacting the VEWH on (03) 9637 8951.

The VEWH manages Victoria's environmental Water Holdings, in cooperation with partners, to improve the health of rivers, wetlands and floodplains.

Further Information

Kathy Cogo, Communication Coordinator
Tel: 03 9637 8854 or 0466 015 183.

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