Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities - June 2011
Scientific monitoring and local know-how are integral to the management of Commonwealth Environmental Water.
The Murray Catchment Management Authority is monitoring ecosystem responses to Commonwealth Environmental Water delivered in the Edward-Wakool river system.
And local landholders have been checking the progress of the environmental flows.
V/O After struggling through a decade of drought, the Edward-Wakool river system in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin is coming back to life.
Thirsty gum trees have soaked up welcome rain. And improved river flows are flushing out salty creek beds.
But due to the lay of the land here in southern New South Wales, the flows have not reached all parts of the system's creeks, billabongs and wetlands.
So Commonwealth Environmental Water has been provided to some of these water-starved ecosystems.
The Commonwealth works with state governments, catchment management authorities, irrigation operators and landholders to manage environmental water in the Murray-Darling Basin.
The water is purchased from other water users and then provided as flows through natural channels or directed through irrigation infrastructure to reach wetland and river ecosystems in need.
Here we see environmental water flowing in the Jimaringle and Cockran creeks. These creeks were severely stressed because they received very little water during the past 10 years.
The environmental water was provided by the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government and released through infrastructure owned by Murray Irrigation Limited and local landholders.
The Murray Catchment Management Authority is monitoring the response of animals and plants to the flows.
John Conallin, who works at the Murray CMA, is tracking the response of small fish and yabbies in the Edward-Wakool system.
John Conallin: "It's really good to especially see some really large amounts of yabbies getting through the system so providing a good stable base for those large-bodied fish."
We're able to talk to you and have you involved in the monitoring and say, "Well, where's the water up to? Should I come out and check it?" and really without that day-to-day checking from you, we wouldn't be able to know where the water is at every stage."
Local knowhow and scientific monitoring are integral to the management of Commonwealth Environmental Water.
Working with locals from across the Basin the Commonwealth has delivered close to 400 gigalitres of environmental water in the past two years.
With recent rainfall, even greater environmental benefits will be achieved through working with local groups to achieve a healthy working river system.