Page 19 - VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2020-21
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1.2 The seasonal watering plan
The seasonal watering plan is a statewide plan that guides environmental watering decisions in Victoria. It provides program partners, stakeholders and communities with a sense of what to expect during the water year.
In this section ...
1.2.1 What does ‘seasonal’ mean?
1.2.2 How does the seasonal watering plan fit into the environmental flows planning process?
1.2.3 Who contributes to the seasonal watering plan?
1.2.4 Can the seasonal watering plan be changed?
1.2.5 When isn’t a formal variation required to the seasonal watering plan?
The seasonal watering plan is a publicly available, transparent preview of all the potential watering actions that could be implemented using water available under all environmental water entitlements held in Victoria. This includes water available under the VEWH’s environmental water entitlements and water held by other environmental water holders for use in Victoria (see subsection 1.4.1).
The seasonal watering plan for the upcoming water year is released by 30 June each year. The 2020–21 plan and any variations are valid for this water year — 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 — or until the subsequent seasonal watering plan is released.
1.2.1 What does ‘seasonal’ mean?
‘Seasonal’ refers to the variability of climatic conditions in a given year. It includes normal differences between summer, autumn, winter and spring, as well as an assessment
of whether a year is drier or wetter than average. Environmental watering objectives and water availability may differ depending on seasonal conditions, so it is important that planning for water for the environment considers the range of potential seasonal conditions or water availability scenarios that may unfold, ranging from drought to very wet. This scenario planning provides a guide for the VEWH and waterway managers throughout the year when it comes to deciding what environmental flows to go ahead with. There is more information about how seasonal conditions influence environmental flows planning in subsection 1.3.4.
For each river and wetland system, the potential environmental flows under each seasonal condition or water availability scenario is explained under ‘Scenario planning’ in the relevant section.
1.2.2 How does the seasonal watering plan fit into the environmental flows planning process?
Each year, waterway managers scope the potential environmental watering actions for their regions for
the coming year in their seasonal watering proposals.
The proposals draw on environmental flow studies and
on longer-term plans (such as environmental water management plans, regional waterway strategies and regional catchment strategies). Environmental flow studies and environmental water management plans for Victorian waterways are available on the VEWH’s website at Waterway strategies and regional catchment strategies are published on the relevant waterway manager’s website. The seasonal watering proposals incorporate information and advice from local communities including Traditional Owners.
The VEWH reviews the proposed watering actions in each seasonal watering proposal and works with waterway managers to identify the potential watering actions for each region and across the state. This seasonal watering plan
is a collated summary of the agreed actions from all the seasonal watering proposals.
The different stages of environmental flows planning including the different strategies and plans are shown in Figure 1.2.1. There is more information about each of these strategies and plans at
1.2 The seasonal watering plan
            Victorian Environmental Water Holder | Seasonal Watering Plan 2020–21 | 17

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