|Location||Security||Registered entitlements (ML)||Long Term Average Annual Yield (ML)|
|Security||Registered entitlements (ML)||Long Term Average Annual Yield (ML)|
*Water allocations in southern-connected Basin catchments can, with some restrictions, be traded to other catchments in the southern-connected Basin. This gives the Commonwealth the capacity to move water between catchments of the southern-connected Basin to get the best outcomes for the environment.
# Includes 492 ML of General security entitlement in the Lower Darling
Commonwealth environmental water in the Murray catchment
Water availability and portfolio management
Portfolio management statements for the Murray catchment provide information on the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office's approach to the management of Commonwealth environmental water holdings in the catchment. The portfolio management statements identifies the type and amount of entitlements held, the forecast of water available and the proposed approach to trading, carryover and use of the water.
Options for Commonwealth environmental water use
The following documents identify potential Commonwealth environmental watering actions for 2012-13 in this catchment:
- Annual water use options 2012-13: Lower Murray River catchment
- Annual water use options 2012-13: Mid Murray catchment
The following factsheets summarise the approach and some of the options for using Commonwealth environmental water in this catchment, as well as identifies how anyone may provide suggestions for use of environmental water.
- Annual water use options 2012-13: Lower Murray River catchment - Fact sheet
- Annual water use options 2012-13: Mid Murray River catchment - Fact sheet
Environmental water delivery
Environmental Water Delivery: Yarrawonga to Tocumwal and Barmah-Millewa, Environmental Water Delivery: Edward Wakool system, Environmental Water Delivery: Koondrook-Perricoota Forest, Environmental Water Delivery: Gunbower Forest and Environmental Water Delivery: River Murray – Coorong, Lower Lakes and main channel below Lock 1 collate current knowledge of the operational and administrative arrangements for the delivery of environmental water to different parts of the Murray River system.
The documents provide an overview of the environmental assets and potential environmental water use options. This work has been undertaken to support the efficient and effective use of environmental water and to engage communities on how this may best be achieved. This aims to encourage community discussion and feedback on the use of environmental water, to identify future opportunities and recognise operational risks and constraints.
Comments on the document are encouraged and can be provided to: email@example.com
- Environmental water delivery: Gunbower Forest
- Environmental water delivery: River Murray – Coorong, Lower Lakes and main channel below Lock 1
- Environmental water delivery: Koondrook-Perricoota Forest
- Environmental water delivery: Yarrawonga to Tocumwal and Barmah-Millewa
- Environmental water delivery: Edward-Wakool system
Environmental watering in the catchment in 2012-13
- Environmental watering on Clark's floodplain with Nature Foundation SA
- Environmental watering in the Lower Murray River (South Australia)
- Environmental watering in the Murray River valley
- Environmental watering in Tuppal creek
- Environmental watering in Gunbower creek
- Environmental watering in Jimaringle, Cockran and Gwynnes creeks
- Environmental watering in the Edward-Wakool river system
Environmental watering in the catchment in previous years
Environmental watering in the catchment in 2011-12
- Environmental watering in the mid-Murray River system (fish refuge habitat and replenishment flows)
- Environmental watering in the Edward-Wakool river system (fish refuge habitat flows)
- Environmental watering in the Wakool River and Colligen Creek (Edward-Wakool river system)
- Environmental watering in Jimaringle-Cockran Creek (Edward-Wakool river system)
- Environmental watering in the Lower Murray River (South Australia)
- Environmental watering in Colligen Creek (Edward-Wakool river system)
Environmental watering in the catchment in 2010-11
The Murray catchment experienced one of its wettest years on record during 2010-11. This resulted in wide-spread inundation and will mean that storage levels are significantly improved going into 2011-12.
A total of approximately 66.8 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water was delivered to sites and provided as river flows through the catchment during the year. In addition, river flows provided in the Murrumbidgee, Goulburn and Lower Darling flowed into the Murray, providing ecological benefits downstream to the Murray Mouth.
Commonwealth environmental water was used in the Murray catchment to build on the environmental benefits of significant rainfall and higher flows that occurred during the year. A wide range of environmental watering actions were undertaken in the Murray during 2010-11, including wetland inundation, watering of ephemeral creeks and providing fish refuge habitat as river flows. Watering actions in the Murray catchment were primarily aimed at:
- supporting mature river red gum and black box communities
- improving water quality
- improving freshwater and estuarine environments
- providing refuge for native flora and fauna
- assisting native fish movement
Edward-Wakool Fish Monitoring Project
This project seeks to better understand how fish respond to flows and help better manage the Edward-Wakool river system and environmental flows.
This work is being undertaken by scientists from the Narrandera Fisheries Centre (NSW Department of Primary Industries) and the Murray Catchment Management Authority (CMA), funded by Primary industries NSW, the Murray CMA and under the Commonwealth environmental water program.
For more information see: Edward-Wakool Fish Monitoring Project
Where is it?
The Murray catchment centres on the Murray River, which is one of the iconic rivers that defines Australia's largest surface water system, the Murray-Darling Basin. The Murray catchment extends across southern New South Wales, northern Victoria and south-eastern South Australia. The total area of the catchment is 133,677 km2.
The headwaters of the Murray River originate in the Australian Alps. The river flows in a general north-westerly direction and defines the border between NSW and Victoria. At the border with South Australia, the river flows west across a wide floodplain before turning southwards and eventually emptying into the Southern Ocean at the Murray Mouth. The Murray River receives inflows from the Barwon-Darling, Lower Darling, Murrumbidgee, Ovens, Goulburn-Broken, Campaspe Loddon and Wimmera-Avoca catchments.
What makes this place so special?
The Murray catchment is home to a large and diverse range of flora and fauna, including species recognised by international agreements (e.g. migratory bird species) and a number of threatened species and ecological communities. Many of these species are listed and protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), which is the Australian Government's principal piece of environmental legislation. Other species are listed under environmental legislation in their respective states and territories.
The catchment includes many significant wetlands, including Wetlands of International Importance listed under the Ramsar Convention (Ramsar) and nationally important wetlands listed under the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (DIWA). Some of these wetlands include:
- Barmah Forest (Ramsar)
- Gunbower Forest (Ramsar)
- Hattah-Kulkyne Lakes (Ramsar)
- Riverland complex (Ramsar)
- The Coorong, and Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Wetland (Ramsar)
- Koondrook and Perricoota Forests (DIWA)
- Millewa Forest (DIWA)
- Lake Wallawalla(DIWA)
- Pike-Mundic Wetland Complex (DIWA)
- Banrock Station Wetland Complex (Ramsar)
The Murray catchment is home to some of the largest stands of river red gum in Australia.
The effects of drought, climate change, and high levels of extraction have reduced river flows resulting in a significant decline in the ecological health of many of these stands and their understorey vegetation. Depletion in soil moisture and an increase in underlying saline groundwater is also jeopardising river red gums, and therefore also threatening habitat for the diverse range of fauna that depend on this vegetation.
Six areas in the Murray catchment have been identified as 'Icon Sites' under The Living Murray (TLM) program.
What does the latest science say about the ecological health of the catchment?
The Murray-Darling Basin Commission Sustainable Rivers Audit (SRA) 2008 rated the overall health of river ecosystems in the Murray-Darling Basin. The SRA reports the overall health of the Murray River in three zones (Lower, Central, and Upper). Their respective health ratings are poor, poor and very poor. The overall health of the Darling River below Menindee Lakes was poor.
The CSIRO Sustainable Yields Report on the Murray found that the current level of surface water extraction is high, with 36 percent of average available water being diverted away from the waterways.
Under the best estimate 2030 climate conditions, average surface water availability for the Murray region would fall by 14 per cent, average diversions in the Murray region would fall by 4 percent and end-of-system flows would fall by 24 per cent. The Murray catchment as defined in this report also included the Lower Darling below Menindee.