Page 131 - VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2020-21
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Traditional Owner cultural values and uses
Corangamite CMA worked with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners during the development of environmental watering plans for the lower Barwon wetlands, as part of an ongoing conversation to ensure Wadawurrung knowledge and culture is incorporated into decision-making, and that watering requirements for culturally-significant species are maintained.
As part of this partnership, the Wadawurrung have identified cultural values which are applicable to all waterways within Wadawurrung Country. Values that have been identified in the lower Barwon wetlands include:
• culturally significant wetland species, such as Porronggitj (brolga), Toolim (black duck), Kunuwarra (black swan), Buniya (eel), Tark (common reed) and Bal- yan (bull rush)
• recognition of wetlands as meeting, ceremony and trade places
• maintaining access to culturally important story places and ceremonial places
• protection of artefact sites.
Social, recreational and economic values and uses
In planning the potential watering actions in Table 3.7.3, Corangamite CMA considered how environmental flows could support values and uses including:
• water-based recreation (such as fishing and duck hunting)
• riverside recreation and amenity (such as birdwatching and spending time outdoors)
• socio-economic benefits (such as commercial fishing).
Recent conditions
Rainfall across the lower Barwon River catchment in 2019–20 was close to the long-term average. High rainfall in winter 2019 and in late summer to autumn 2020 contributed high flows in the river and delivered water to Reedy Lake and Hospital Swamps.
Water levels in Reedy Lake varied between 0.6 m and 1.0 m AHD throughout 2019–20. This followed three successive years of managed partial drying, where the lake was filled in winter and then allowed to draw down during summer and autumn. Monitoring at Reedy Lake over the last four years indicates the drying regime has improved the diversity of vegetation, increased species richness of brackish aquatic herbland plants and increased the abundance of waterbirds including Australasian bitterns and magpie geese.
In 2019–20, Hospital Swamps was filled in winter and then drawn down to 0.3 m AHD over summer.
Scope of environmental watering
Table 3.7.3 describes the potential environmental watering actions in 2020–21, their functional watering objectives (that is, the intended physical or biological effect of the watering action) and the longer-term environmental objectives they support. Each environmental objective relies on one or more potential environmental watering actions and their associated physical or biological functions.
3.7 Barwon system
    Victorian Environmental Water Holder | Seasonal Watering Plan 2020–21 | 129

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