The Wimmera-Mallee wetlands include 51 wetlands on public and private land spread across the dry north-west area of Victoria.
Historically, the wetlands received water from the open channel system before the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline was completed. As part of the pipeline project, all stock and domestic supply dams were replaced with tanks and the open channel distribution system was replaced by pipelines. The project achieved significant water savings for environmental watering of the area's flow-stressed rivers, creeks and waterways and created regional development opportunities; but it also reduced the amount of openwater habitat in areas that were formerly supplied by the open channel system. To mitigate the loss of open water in the landscape, a 1,000 ML environmental entitlement was created to supply water to wetlands (some with associated dams) that were previously supplied through the old channel system. The entitlement is supplied via the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline. A project was completed in 2011 to identify priority wetlands to be connected to the pipeline system, and all 51 wetlands are now connected.
Environmental water delivery to the wetlands relies on capacity in the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline. CMAs work closely with GWMWater and land managers (including Parks Victoria, DELWP and private landowners) to manage around these capacity constraints and deliver environmental water to these wetlands.