A new publication Reflections: Water for the environment in Victoria demonstrates how vital Victoria's state-wide environmental watering program is for the state's rivers and wetlands, especially as the state continues to face weather extremes.
It’s raining, it’s pouring and nature is filling rivers and wetlands during a plentiful wet season. So should we still put water into the environment when nature is delivering it on tap?
The catch of tupong in the Thomson River using electrofishing in 2017 was the highest observed in 13 years.
Melbourne's rivers, estuaries and wetlands are the foundation of a vibrant natural environment and a key contributor to the city's productivity and liveability.
Victoria's river systems flow through landscapes which are culturally significant to Traditional Owner groups, whose ancestors have lived along these rivers for tens of thousands of years.
Environmental water management isn't always about 'adding water'. One of the success stories of 2016-17 involved lowering the water levels of an internationally important wetland.
Communities in the Central Murray region stand to benefit from work being undertaken to improve fish populations in the Loddon River system.
The Environment, Natural Resources and Environment Committee is holding an inquiry into the management, governance and use of environmental water. This is your chance to have a further say about the use of 'water for the environment' in Victoria.
There's lots of different 'types' of water released into rivers. This is what sets water for the environment apart.
There has been an increase in black box seed release and fruiting in Hattah-Kulkyne National Park.
Fish in the Mullaroo Creek and upper Lindsay River are moving and breeding thanks to environmental watering and new infrastructure.
Environmental watering in the King and Buffalo rivers in 2016 aimed to benefit native fish.
Environmental watering in 2015-16 benefitted Barmah Forest's moira grass plains - the most extensive in Victoria.
Watering included 95 % of the forest's wetlands and benefited 14 percent of the forest's river red gum trees.
The Loddon is on the road to recovery following the prolonged drought and floods of 2011.
Improved habitat for pythons, bats, monitors, sugar gliders, fish and waterbirds at lower Murray wetlands.
Waterbirds flocked to wetlands in the central Murray wetland complex following environmental watering in 2015–16.
The Campaspe River is gradually climbing back to health following the Millennium drought and the floods of 2011.
Lower Broken Creek fish proved remarkably resilient to low oxygen and azolla and blue-green algal outbreaks in 2015–16.
Kinnairds Wetland and Black Swamp near Numurkah attracted birds not seen in the area for years.
Flexibility was important during 2015–16, with the timing of environmental watering adjusted in response to weather and river conditions.
Delivered to 40 of the 51 Wimmera-Mallee wetlands in 2015–16.
Watering provided for fish, plant, waterbug and other species during dry times by filling refuge pools.
Fish have withstood one of the worst droughts on record thanks to environmental watering in 2015–16.
A drying regime at Hospital Swamps in 2015–16, improved the health of plants and attracted brolga.
Providing drought refuges for fish, waterbugs, frogs and waterbirds in Moorabool River.
Drought relief for fish, frogs and waterbugs in the Werribee River after a hot, dry start to summer.
Australian grayling showed a great response to environmental watering in 2015–16.
Significant populations of platypus and fish call the Maribyrnong River home.
Watering in the Yarra River in 2015–16 focused on protecting under dry conditions.
Watering the Snowy River aims to rehabilitate the river by moving sediment, establishing plants and boosting carbon.
Environmental watering in the Macalister River in 2015–16 provided habitat for plants and animals, including platypus.
Breeding conditions for the iconic Australian grayling in the Thomson River were tested in 2015–16.
Watering in the Latrobe River in 2015–16 prompted first recorded breeding of Australian grayling.
The resilience of the Wimmera River has increased over the last five years, thanks to environmental watering.
Surveys show a connection between environmental watering and waterbird fledging.
Environmental watering has scoured sediment from pools in the Yarra River, improving habitat for fish, waterbugs and platypus.
Environmental watering over the last five years has initiated migration of the threatened Australian grayling to spawn in the lower Thomson River.
Environmental watering is sustaining the habitat necessary for the survival of one of Australia's most threatened fish, the Murray hardyhead.
One of the more exciting observations made after environmental watering in 2015-16 was the presence of several endangered Australasian bittern at Moodie Swamp.
It was the fifth Murray cod we had caught over the weekend, and our second around 75cm long. Dad said: "There are many more Murray cod in these rivers than there were in the 1970s. Someone's doing something right."
Environmental water is playing a critical role in fighting the decline of waterbird populations in Australia's south-east.
Rainfall and inflows in western Victoria are highly variable and reflect the natural ‘boom and bust’ character of western Victorian rivers.
The platypus is a uniquely Australian species. Along with echidnas, platypus are part of an exceptional group of mammals which lay eggs, known as monotremes. Yet our ‘duck-billed’, egg-laying icon requires protection.
The connected river and floodplain systems of northern Victoria provide opportunities to achieve multiple environmental benefits as water flows through the system. One water release can hit several ecosystem targets in different locations as it moves downstream.
Imagine camping beside a wetland knowing that it’s got as much water as it has because of you? Avid bushwalker and landholder Christiane Jaeger can do just that.
The aims of environmental watering in the Werribee system in 2014–15 were to promote black bream breeding in the estuary, and help small-bodied fish – such as galaxias, smelt and tupong – move between the fresh and estuarine sections.
Platypus and the threatened fish Australian grayling thrived in the Tarago River in 2014–15 following environmental watering.
In 2014-15, environmental watering triggered the breeding of Macquarie perch in the Yarra River for a second successive year.
Waterbirds continued to flock to Hospital Swamps during 2014–15, with lower water levels in the wetlands providing feeding and breeding opportunities.
Native fish numbers and diversity in the Moorabool system have jumped significantly thanks to environmental watering, a 2015 monitoring project shows.
While the Latrobe River benefited from the delivery of autumn freshes - watering that exceeds the base flow, lasting for one or several days - in 2014–15, the lower Latrobe wetlands continued an all-important drying regime.
During 2014–15, 155,308 ML of water was delivered to Gippsland’s Snowy River, while an important project continued to investigate the relationship between environmental water and Australian bass populations.
Work on a new environmental water management plan for the Macalister River began in 2014–15 as environmental water continued to target native migratory fish species, including the iconic and threatened Australian grayling.
The Australian grayling – one of Victoria’s threatened fish species – continued to prosper in Gippsland’s Thomson River as a direct response to environmental watering in 2014–15.
Environmental watering of wetlands in the Central Murray region attracted more than 60 species of waterbirds in 2014–15.
Boosted fish populations and a platypus sighting were some of the highlights of environmental watering in the Loddon system in 2014–15.
Golden perch bred in the Goulburn River as a result of environmental watering in 2014–15.
Environmental water releases into the Ovens system in north east Victoria created connected pools and riffles (shallow sections of a river with rapid currents) and variable, more natural flows to provide food and habitat for waterbugs and other aquatic plants and animals.
Twenty one of the Wimmera–Mallee wetlands received environmental water in 2014–15, including seven wetlands in the North Central region, 10 wetlands in the Wimmera region and four wetlands in the Mallee.
Surveys in early 2015 indicated that the lower Wimmera River was in its best condition for many years, thanks to several years of regular environmental water releases.
2014–15 saw the largest ever delivery of environmental water to Gunbower Forest.
While no managed environmental water was delivered to Barmah Forest in 2014–15, natural flooding built on the five-year legacy of environmental watering within the forest.
Thirteen wetlands, creeks and billabongs in the lower Murray region were given a significant boost with environmental water in 2014–15.
Environmental water delivery to the Goulburn–Broken wetlands in 2014–15 focused on re-establishing vegetation and providing habitat for bird breeding after wildfire ravaged a number of the wetlands in early 2014.
All of the 12 Ramsar-listed Hattah Lakes received environmental water over 2013–14 and 2014–15, including Lake Kramen, which sits high on the floodplain surrounded by an important black box tree community.
Environmental watering triggered a surge in wildlife sightings at Lake Yando, a 83 hectare wetland 9 kilometres north east of Boort.
In 2014–15, the North Central Catchment Management Authority released targeted environmental flows to support platypus in the Campaspe River.
Environmental water in the Glenelg River triggered a marathon swim for one estuary perch in 2014–15, which made an upstream journey of more than 300 kilometres.
Environmental watering in the lower Broken Creek in 2014–15 continued to focus on providing flows to protect and improve native fish populations.
In 2014–15, new environmental infrastructure allowed water to be provided to the Mulcra Island floodplain, giving life to severely stressed lignum (spiny shrubland) communities.