About the document
The summary and technical reports present results from the fourth year of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office’s Long Term Intervention Monitoring (LTIM) Project in the Murrumbidgee river system. The summary report focuses on the context and ecological responses to water for the environment. The technical report provides detailed methods, analyses and results with management recommendations. Both reports evaluate the contribution water for the environment has made to environmental outcomes in 2017-18 in the Murrumbidgee river system, complementing monitoring and evaluation undertaken from 2014-2017.
The LTIM Project recorded the delivery of over 179.2 GL of water for the environment to the Murrumbidgee River catchment. Key environmental outcomes include:
- Monitored wetlands that received water for the environment at least once over the past four years have vegetation communities that remain in very good condition. This is consistent with predictions that restoring a more natural inundation frequency through environmental watering will support the establishment and persistence of water dependent species to a far greater extent than unregulated flows alone.
- The support of 33 native bird species including threatened Australasian bittern and freckled duck, and international migratory birds including Latham’s snipe. The water contributed to successful breeding outcomes for eight waterbird species across the Murrumbidgee in a predominantly dry year.
- The recording of six frog species, including breeding of southern bell frogs at Yarradda Lagoon, and three species of freshwater turtles (broad shelled turtles, eastern long necked turtle and Macquarie turtles).
- Spawning of seven native and one exotic fish species in the Murrumbidgee River including threatened Murray cod and silver perch.
The information from these reports are being combined with six other LTIM Project Selected Areas to provide a Basin-scale evaluation (led by the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre) of the outcomes of water for the environment. Recommendations and limitations outlined in the LTIM Project are used to inform future management of water for the environment, using the best available scientific knowledge.