Why is Environmental Water Important?

Brolga Moodie Swamp 2014Across Victoria, natural stream flow patterns and wetland filling and drying cycles have been impacted by:

  • land clearing and urbanisation
  • levees and floodplain development
  • the construction and operation of on-stream storages
  • surface and ground water extraction

This has had a significant impact on the health and functioning of these important aquatic ecosystems and the native plants and animals that depend upon them for survival.

To help improve the health of streams and wetlands in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, environmental water is used to:

  • scour pools to increase instream habitat complexity
  • provide connectivity between streams and floodplains
  • trigger fish movement and breeding (including Murray cod and golden perch)
  • provide feeding and breeding opportunities for waterbirds such as brolga and ibis
  • provide habitat for frogs, turtles, fish and water bugs
  • enhance the condition of riparian and aquatic vegetation
  • cycle nutrients and carbon that drive food webs
  • maintain drought refuges
  • maintain stream water quality

Equally important for stream and wetland health are the complimentary activities the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority undertakes and supports. These include fencing, re-vegetation, off-stream watering, pest control, re-snagging (increasing large woody debris for fish habitat), erosion control, instream barrier removal, community education, research and monitoring.

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