Turtle

Environmental water for Barmah wetlands

Monday 9 November, 2009
The 2009/2010 Environmental Watering Program is soon to commence in the Barmah wetlands and waterways using 2.35 gigalitres of environmental water to support the health of wetland-dependant flora and fauna.

The 2009/2010 Environmental Watering Program is soon to commence in the Barmah wetlands and waterways using 2.35 gigalitres of environmental water to support the health of wetland-dependant flora and fauna.

The environmental water is made up of 250 megalitres from The Living Murray Initiative Environmental Delivery Program and 2.1 gigalitres from the Victorian Flora and Fauna Environmental Water Entitlement.

The application of environmental water in Barmah Forest is being undertaken in conjunction with a similar program in the adjoining Millewa Forest by NSW authorities. The Barmah-Millewa Forest floodplain is an Internationally Significant wetland system that staddles the state border.

Keith Ward, Environmental Water Reserve Manager at GB CMA said "Environmental Water will go to priority sites including 600 megalites to Top Island, 500 megalitres to Boals Deadwoods, 500 megalitres to Smiths Creek and the remaining 500 megalitres to be distributed to a variety of smaller sites.

"Although the volumes of water are small, significant ecological benefits will be gained by the timely delivery of this water. The purpose of the environmental watering is to create drought refuge for a variety of wetland-dependent species including the uncommon Southern Pygmy Perch and hundreds of stranded turtles."

The last time many of these were flooded was in 2005. Some of the permanent waterways have been dry for at least two years. Environmental impacts from this include drought-stressed red gums, declining yabby and turtle numbers and vanishing fish habitat.

The environmental watering program is using legal environmental water entitlements and will not impact on the delivery of water for consumptive use.

The Living Murray is a joint initiative funded by the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory and the Commonwealth governments.

Release Ends

For more information please contact

Marli Kelly 0409 410 178