The central Murray wetland system consists of 11 wetlands on the lower Loddon River and River Murray floodplains.
The central Murray wetlands are almost wholly contained within the Torrumbarry Irrigation Area and are all wetlands of regional or international significance. The area has experienced dramatic changes since European settlement with the construction of levees, roads and channels. Most of the wetlands are now cut off from natural flooding and rely on environmental water to maintain their ecological character and health.
Nine of the wetlands can receive environmental water using permanent infrastructure: Lake Cullen, Hird Swamp, Johnson Swamp, Round Lake, McDonalds Swamp, Lake Elizabeth, Lake Murphy, Richardson's Lagoon and the Wirra-Lo wetland complex. To date, neither Guttrum or Benwell forests, which both border the River Murray, have permanent infrastructure to deliver environmental water. Some of the semipermanent wetlands in these forests can receive environmental water via temporary pumping from the River Murray.