The Wimmera-Mallee wetlands include 52 wetlands on public and private land spread across north-west Victoria. Historically, the deeper areas of these wetlands received water most years from the open channels associated with the Wimmera-Mallee Domestic and Stock Channel System.
The Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline Project (WMPP) replaced stock and domestic supply dams with tanks, and the open- channel distribution system with pipelines, to improve water efficiency. A portion of the water savings from the WMPP was converted to an environmental entitlement to improve the condition of the area’s flow-stressed rivers, creeks and wetlands; the rest was used to create regional development opportunities and boost the reliability of supply for other users. The WMPP reduced the amount of open-water habitat in areas that were formerly supplied by the open- channel system, so a separate 1,000 ML environmental entitlement was created to water wetlands that were previously supplied through the channel system. There are 52 priority wetlands that can receive water from this environmental entitlement.
Water for the environment can only be delivered to the wetlands when there is sufficient capacity in the Wimmera- Mallee pipeline system, which can be affected by demand from other pipeline customers. The North Central, Mallee and Wimmera CMAs work closely with GWMWater and land managers (including Parks Victoria, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and private landowners) to take account of pipeline capacity constraints when ordering environmental deliveries to wetlands.