In February 2013 the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, David Papps, was a guest speaker at a Nature Foundation South Australia event which celebrated the start of watering on Clark's Floodplain near Berri in the Murray-Darling Basin. This was the first Commonwealth environmental watering project under the Nature Foundation's Water for Nature initiative.
For more information see:
- Media release: Commonwealth works with Nature Foundation South Australia to deliver water - 24 October 2012
[video description: "First Commonwealth Environmental Watering for Nature Foundation"]
00.00-00.07 [video: Logos of the Nature Foundation of South Australia and Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.]
00.08-00.12 [video: David Papps shown starting water pump.]
00.13-00.46 [video: water flowing through pipe to, and sprinklers irrigating vegetation on the floodplain]
Narrator: On the 18th of February 2013, David Papps, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, launched the Clark's Floodplain project. One hundred megaliters of Commonwealth environmental water will be delivered to the floodplain to help redress the loss of habitat and re-establish stands of black box trees.
It is a first of its kind agreement with a non-government organization. The Nature Foundation of South Australia has been entrusted with 50 gigalitres of water over five years to help rehabilitate River Murray wetlands and floodplains.
00.47-01.11 [video: David Papps speaking into microphone]
David Papps: It's a genuine and great pleasure to be here and I've been the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder for about 8 weeks and this is my first formal function and I can't imagine a better place to be than standing here talking about this project with the rush of the Murray River behind us through the Lock.
[video: water flowing over over the lock infrastructure; a pelican swims in the river in front of the lock]
David Papps: It's just a fabulous project and I think a portent of things to come.
01.12-01.33 [video: Ian Atkinson, CEO Nature Foundation SA]
Ian Atkinson: The River Murray system has been modified by our activities for over a hundred years now and areas like this have suffered as a result of that. It's not just the most recent drought but it's also just what we've done the valley over the last hundred years.
[video: Nature Foundation SA staff, community volunteers and local irrigators monitoring environmental watering]
Ian Atkinson: So now that the opportunity is there with the environmental water it's time that we did something with it and did some good.
01.34-02.11 [video: people on river bank and on floodplain monitoring environmental watering; scenes of parts of the floodplain]
David Papps (voiceover): Here we have a group of irrigators, a private land owner and I have to thank Steve for his contribution to this project and for allowing us to work on his land. Working with a non government organisation, the Nature Foundation of SA to deliver on ground environmental outcomes, tangible benefits that over time we will all be able to see and I think that is the perfect essence of 'localism' and in this case of course the Commonwealth providing up to 50 gigalitres over 5 years as our contribution to making this work.
02.12-02.27 [video: Stakeholders include:
- Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
- Mr. Steve Clark and Family
- SA Water
- Department of Environment, Water & Natural Resources
- Loxton to Bookpurnong Local Action Planning Group
- State Emergency Services
- Australian Conservation Foundation
- Sinclair Knight Merz
- Harcourts Foundation
- SMEC Foundation]
Greg Johnston (voiceover): Collaboration is really crucial to the success of this project. The project is lead by the Nature Foundation through its Water for Nature program.
All of the different groups have come together and collaborated to make this such a successful project.
02.28-03.12 [video: Dr Greg Johnston, Conservation Ecologist Nature Foundation, SA in front of a large pump beside the river]
Greg Johnston: Now is and excellent time to be doing environmental watering here because we're following on from two really quite wet years.
[video: Sunset over the floodplain; rain falling on the river; floodplain before environmental watering and immediately following; eucalypt seedlings on floodplain]
Greg Johnston: We've had huge flows in the River Murray which we haven't seen for a long time, we had a drought and now we've got a really wet period and we've got lots of natural recruitment, little seedlings coming up and we want to keep those alive so that they become part of the woodland and help the woodland recover here on the floodplains of the River Murray.
[video: a bird of prey sitting in high branches of mature gum tree on floodplain; scene of opposite side of the river]
Clark's Floodplain is really important as an environmental watering site because its adjacent the Katarapko Conservation Reserve on the other side of the River and so it will help us expand the floodplain woodlands beyond what's already preserved in the Conservation Park.
03.13-03.55 [video:people and areas around the site where the project was launched; David Papps speaking to the audience]
David Papps: This is a great example of the reality that we work within.
My job is about protecting and restoring the environmental assets of the Murray-Darling Basin but it's doing so in the context of a working river and of regional communities that depend on this river for their livelihood and it strikes me as a great example of how we can demonstrate that those things work beautifully together, particularly in this case where we've got local landholders, local irrigators and the local community so committed to making this project work and I think again that is going to be a feature of the work that we hope to do all the way through the basin.
03.56-End [video: Logos of the Nature Foundation of South Australia, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and video producer.]