Page 24 - VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2020-21
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 1.3 Implementing the seasonal watering plan
Many factors influence prioritisation decisions (such as
the likely environmental outcomes, the previous watering history in that river or wetland, environmental or public
risk considerations and seasonal conditions in the region). Trade-offs may need to be made about watering actions undertaken in one year or at one site, and water may need to be provided at the expense of watering actions in the next year or at another site. Trade-offs may also need to be made about foregoing watering actions to sell water allocation and use the resulting revenue for complementary works and measures or to improve knowledge and capability to deliver better environmental outcomes.
In deciding to prioritise one environmental watering action or site over another, the VEWH always seeks to optimise environmental outcomes across the state.
What criteria are used to guide prioritisation decisions?
Figure 1.3.1 shows the criteria the VEWH considers when making trade-off decisions and prioritising specific watering actions. Waterway managers provide information about how different watering actions meet these criteria, and about opportunities for shared benefits, in their seasonal watering proposals.
In deciding how to use the available Water Holdings (as explained in subsection 1.4.1) in any given year, the VEWH also considers additional factors, such as:
• decisions by other water holders about the use of their water for the environment
• State and Commonwealth government decisions about water resource policy
• the resources, knowledge and capability of the VEWH and its program partners
• storage managers meeting their obligations to the environment associated with the right to harvest and distribute water sustainably
• complementary works and measures being undertaken
• the availability of funds
• the merit of selling available water allocation to fund works or technical investigations to enhance environmental outcomes
• services associated with the management of Water Holdings and the delivery of water for the environment.
Prioritisation has historically occurred on a site-by-site basis, but many of the ecological processes that underpin waterway health operate at a landscape scale. The prioritisation process is currently evolving to consider
the combination of watering actions that are needed across multiple waterways in a region to achieve the best environmental outcomes. The prioritisation criteria shown in Figure 1.3.1 can be equally applied at individual sites or at the broader landscape scale.
                    22 | Victorian Environmental Water Holder | Seasonal Watering Plan 2020–21

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