The Loddon River flows north from the Great Dividing Range in central Victoria to the River Murray (see map below). The major storages are Cairn Curran, Tullaroop and Laanecoorie reservoirs.
Environmental water can be delivered to the Loddon River from the Loddon or the Goulburn systems due to the Loddon River's connection with the Goulburn system via the Waranga western channel. Water is provided to Pyramid Creek from the Murray system via the national channel. Water is diverted from the Loddon River to Serpentine Creek, mainly for irrigation.
The highest-priority reach for environmental watering is from Loddon Weir to Kerang Weir where there are good opportunities to improve vegetation condition and fish abundance and because this reach doesn't receive any flows for irrigation deliveries. The upper Loddon River and Tullaroop Creek are also a priority because of the river blackfish and platypus that live there.
Due to the significant modifications to the natural waterways for irrigation supply, the water distribution system in the Loddon is very complicated. This provides both challenges and opportunities for effective environmental water management. It is possible to manipulate the timing and location of releases to accomplish environmental outcomes throughout the system. As experience in managing newly updated environmental flow recommendations is gained in coming years, we expect that water use efficiency and effectiveness will improve.