In order to develop a list of priority waterways and wetlands, filters have been applied to the large list of waterways included within the Index of Stream Condition (ISC) and Index of Wetland Condition (IWC).
Filter one applied the definition of high value waterways as identified within the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy (2013), followed by filter two in which we applied the list of regional goals established by the Community Reference Committee.
Waterways are considered of high value if they have one, or more, of the following characteristics:
- Formally recognised significance
- Presence of highly threatened or rare species and ecological communities
- High naturalness values (for example, aquatic invertebrate communities or riparian vegetation) or special waterway features (for example, drought refugia or important bird habitat)
- High social, cultural or economic values (for example, recreational fishing, Aboriginal cultural heritage and urban or rural water sources).
Regional Goals, established for waterways by the Community Reference Committee, are to maintain the resilience of the region’s waterway and wetlands so that:
- Waterways and wetlands of high community value are maintained or improved
- Water quality in priority water supply catchments is maintained or improved
- Populations of threatened aquatic dependent species will be maintained or improved- including Trout cod, Macquarie perch, Murray cod, Eel tailed catfish, Barred galaxias, Golden perch
- Barmah Forest (Ramsar site) will be managed to maintain its ecological character
- The values associated with Heritage Rivers will be maintained or improved
- Wetlands with formally recognised significance are maintained or improved
- Waterways and wetlands in a near-natural or ecologically healthy state are retained
- Urban waterways are managed to improve environmental condition, amenity and water security.
Additional filters included an application of risk based assessment and a review of project feasibility