Delivering the right amount of water to the right place, at the right time, is generating positive results for the environment, as demonstrated by a series of scientific reports analysing the impacts of Commonwealth environmental water use during 2014-15 - part of a $30 million investment in monitoring and evaluation projects across the Murray-Darling Basin over five years (to 2020).
The results of this work are being considered as part of the planning and decision-making by specialist Commonwealth Environmental Water Office staff, our State and local delivery partners and teams of experts, as the start of the new water year looms closer.
These results are also being shared with people living and working in the Murray-Darling Basin who are working closely with environmental water managers, locally and at a Basin-scale to build and improve knowledge and information so that we can continue to make the best use of environmental water.
Improved outcomes for native fish, birds, frogs and habitat from environmental watering in 2014-15
The full scientific reports can be found on the CEWO website.
- The latest science is in: environmental water is benefiting native birds, fish and vegetation - Media release
- Monitoring and evaluation for the use of Commonwealth environmental water
Annual planning for 2016-17:
If you want to learn more about the work of local environmental water advisory groups and committees or you have any suggestions for the use of environmental water in your region please contact your local or state representative bodies, or alternatively your Local Engagement Officer.
Meanwhile, staff from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, including our six Local Engagement Officers, continue to work hard to strengthen relationships with a range of people living in and working in the Basin, to ensure diverse perspectives are included as part of environmental watering planning and management. We are always keen to hear suggestions and I encourage you to get in touch with Local Engagement Officers if you have ideas.
Additionally, we are keen to attend events and forums that allow us to let people know about our work and why it is important, so please do not hesitate to contact my Office if you have an event coming up.
Working in partnership locally:
We have recently formalised a number of partnerships with community groups including Renmark Irrigation Trust, Accolade wines (owners of the RAMSAR-listed Banrock Station) the Nature Foundation South Australia and the Trust for Nature. These partnerships with local groups allow communities to help shape the regional planning and management of environmental water delivery over the long term.
We are also working with Aboriginal communities to help establish ways to deliver water that ensures environmental assets are being cared for in accordance with cultural values.
I was proud to have been able to visit Sugar Shack Wetlands, near Swan Reach in South Australia, to formalise a landmark partnership with Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority. It is the first such agreement and an important part of ongoing efforts to collaborate with Aboriginal people in the interests of achieving mutual benefits from environmental water use.
Additionally, Local Engagement Officers, other Commonwealth Environmental Water Office staff and State and local water delivery partners are working with the Ta-Ru Lands Board of Management, Narri Narri and Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations, and Ngiyampaa Wayilwan in the Macquarie Marshes.
- Achieving environmental and cultural water benefits in the lower River Murray region - Media release
- Building capacity locally is key to protecting and restoring the Tar-Ru Lands - Media release
- More media releases from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder
Carp in the Murray-Darling Basin and Commonwealth environmental water:
The Australian Government recently announced a $15 million investment to develop a National Carp Control Plan to support the potential release of the carp-specific herpesvirus, which could help manage carp abundance in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Blue Green Algae:
The recent outbreak of blue-green algal blooms was the cause of much concern. Once a blue-green algal bloom forms, very little can be done to stop it. The scale of the current events means that the provision of additional flows would be unlikely to affect the blooms significantly.
The Recent Senate inquiry referred to the Senate Committee under the Murray Darling Basin Plan by Senator Maddigan, into the impact of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, provided a good opportunity to address a number of issues and concerns raised by members of the community and I would encourage you to have a look at the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder submission, and others made to the Committee.
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Conference 2016:
On Wednesday 2 March, I presented at the ABARES Outlook Conference 'Investing in Agriculture- Growing our Future' which focussed on the importance of the agricultural sector to Australia and how to insure its success into the future. A copy and video of all presentations from the conference, including my overview of the management of environmental water, the environmental targets all water managers are working towards with a brief reflection on achievements to date, is available on the ABARES website.
- Program and presentations: OUTLOOK 2016 ~ Investing in agriculture – growing our future