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Environmental water delivery: Lower Goulburn River

Commonwealth Environmental Water, 2011

Environmental Water Delivery: Lower Goulburn River collates current knowledge of the operational and administrative arrangements for the delivery of environmental water to the Lower Goulburn River and provides an overview of the environmental assets and potential environmental water use options for the catchment. 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: ewater@environment.gov.au.

Introduction

Increased volumes of environmental water are now becoming available in the Murray Darling Basin and this will allow a larger and broader program of environmental watering. It is particularly important that managers of environmental water seek regular input and suggestions from the community as to how we can achieve the best possible approach. As part of the consultation process for Commonwealth environmental water we will be seeking information on:

  • community views on environmental assets and the health of these assets
  • views on the prioritisation of environmental water use
  • potential partnership arrangements for the management of environmental water
  • possible arrangements for the monitoring, evaluation and reporting (MER) of environmental water use.

This document has been prepared to provide information on the environmental assets and potential environmental water use in the Lower Goulburn River.

The Lower Goulburn River supports a number of important ecological values which have been recognised at national, regional and local scales. Ecological values include the presence of a number of threatened species of flora and fauna, intact native fish populations and areas of healthy riparian vegetation. Potential water use options for the Lower Goulburn River include the provision of baseflows for Reaches 4 and 5 as well as the provision of flow freshes in winter-spring and summer-autumn. This is expected to enable growth, reproduction and small-scale recruitment for a range of flora and fauna, including native fish.

A key aim in undertaking this work was to prepare scalable water use strategies that maximise the efficiency of water use and anticipate different climatic circumstances. Operational opportunities and constraints have been identified and delivery options prepared. This has been done in a manner that will assist the community and environmental water managers in considering the issues and developing multi-year water use plans.

The work has been undertaken by consultants on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Previously prepared work has been drawn upon and discussions have occurred with organisations such as the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, Goulburn-Murray Water, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Management of environmental water will be an adaptive process. There will always be areas of potential improvement. Comments and suggestions including on possible partnership arrangements are very welcome and can be provided directly to: ewater@environment.gov.au. Further information about Commonwealth environmental water can be found on the Commonwealth Environmental Water website.

Commonwealth Environmental Water
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787, Canberra ACT 2601
Tel: +61 2 6275 9245