Page 4 - VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2020-21
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 It gives me great pleasure to introduce the Victorian Environmental Water Holder’s (VEWH’s) Seasonal Watering Plan 2020-21, which outlines the scope of where and when water for the environment may be delivered over the next 12 months.
Last year was a year of change at the VEWH as we welcomed a refreshed Commission to the helm and
saw my appointment to the position of Chairperson. Our Commissioners have diverse backgrounds and bring a balance of experience and knowledge in environmental management, sustainable water management, economics and public administration to the environmental watering program.
The past year also saw changes to the Water Act 1989 which, for the first time in Victoria, enshrined recreational and Aboriginal water values into law. By tapping into local knowledge, the seasonal watering plan aims to optimise the delivery of water to produce shared benefits for all Victorians.
At the VEWH, supporting the involvement of Traditional Owners in the planning, management and delivery of environmental water has been an ongoing focus and we are beginning to see results, most recently at Ranch Billabong and the Moorabool River, where water for the environment has provided both cultural and environmental benefits.
The effects of climate change on our environment are becoming more apparent – there is no more extreme example than the devastating summer bushfires following drier than average conditions over the past few years. Pleasingly, the climate outlook for winter 2020 provides some hope for an average or wet beginning to the 2020–21 watering year. However, the uncertainty
of seasonal conditions means it is important for our planning to be adaptable.
This year’s seasonal watering plan provides a clear guide to how the VEWH and program partners plan to use the water available to achieve the best possible environmental watering outcomes for Victorians in a range of climate scenarios. It represents a consolidation of proposed watering actions from catchment management authorities and Melbourne Water developed from an ever-building bank of local knowledge from our regions and scientific monitoring programs.
I thank everyone who has provided input to the plan and those who will be involved in its delivery over the coming year.
Chris Chesterfield
Chairperson, Victorian Environmental Water Holder
    | Victorian Environmental Water Holder | Seasonal Watering Plan 2020–21

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