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Seasonal watering plan released for Victoria’s rivers and wetlands

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder today released Victoria's first integrated statewide plan for environmental watering.

Water sceneThe Victorian Environmental Water Holder today released Victoria's first integrated statewide plan for environmental watering.

The Seasonal Watering Plan 2011-12 sets the scope for where, when, how and why environmental water will be used across Victoria's rivers and wetlands under a range of possible seasonal conditions, from extremely dry to very wet.

Water Holder Chairperson Denis Flett said the release of the plan heralds a more independent, coordinated and transparent approach to environmental water management in Victoria.

"This year's seasonal watering plan is the first of its kind to set out how Victoria's environmental water entitlements will be used from a statewide perspective," Mr Flett said.

"The plan also considers how to coordinate delivery of water from the Victorian Water Holdings with environmental water managed by others, including partners in the Living Murray program and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder."

The seasonal watering plan takes in the Snowy, Latrobe, Thomson, Macalister, Tarago, Yarra, Werribee, Moorabool, Glenelg, Wimmera, Goulburn, Broken, Campaspe, Loddon, Bullarook systems and the northern Victorian wetlands. The Barwon system and Wimmera-Mallee wetlands will also be included once proposals have been completed for these systems and considered by the Water Holder.

"Victoria's river systems experienced a much wetter period in 2010-11 after many years of drought," Mr Flett said.

"This year's seasonal watering plan will broadly focus on building on the environmental benefits resulting from last year's wetter conditions."

Mr Flett said while the plan sets the intent for use of environmental water entitlements held by the Water Holder, implementation of the plan and delivery of environmental water in most systems will be subject to water availability.

"The Water Holder will release seasonal watering statements to communicate its decisions and authorise the release of environmental water throughout the year," Mr Flett said.

"With water still available from 2010-11 and good water availability likely in most systems, it is expected that many priority watering actions will be carried out this year."

Environmental water releases will not be made where there is a likelihood of flooding private land or property.

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.

The plan is available for download here. Or hard copies are available by contacting the Water Holder on 03 9637 8951.

Further Information

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

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