About these documents
These brochures are a snapshot of the Water Management Plan for the northern and southern Basin. They provide an overview of our annual planning process and outline what we aim to achieve with water for the environment in 2021-22. Detailed information regarding the management of Commonwealth Environmental Water in 2021-22 can be found via the links below.
- Water Management Plan 2021-22:Full document
- Planning and Delivering Water for the Environment (Fact sheet)
Water Management Plan 2021-22 - Video
We’re sitting on the confluence of Australia’s two major rivers. We’re sitting on the confluence of the Darling behind me, and to my left, the Mighty Murray’s flowing by.
I’m Hilton Taylor, and I’m the interim Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.
I’m here to talk today about our annual Water Management Plans. Each year we go through a rigorous planning process to deploy the water that we hold in our portfolio. It’s a large public asset, it’s a very valuable public asset and it’s under a lot of scrutiny. So, our planning has to be quite robust and rigorous, it has to be informed by good science, it has to be informed by community input and it has to make sense in the context where we are delivering it.
Where and when we place our water is an ongoing and critical part of our operations. The season changes continually, and the demand, both environmentally, and supply of water can change significantly throughout the season, so we have to be continually adaptive.
We have high-priority targets that we want to deliver water to at the beginning of each season and, as the season goes on, we try and get water to those targets.
Depending on the amount of water that we’ve got to use for the environment every year, that’ll change, so we’re always trying to work out our best responses that we can get with the water that we’ve got this year, based on last years results. It’s very adaptive.
This year, we’ve had a lot of landholders coming to us and saying they’ve got a wetland they’d like to see enhanced or improved, so we’ll be putting some water into there. We’re also doing some Spring pulses down the Murray River for fish spawning and movement through the system, so we get the timing right, the spring pulse we get down the system is really important because the main stem of the Murray and the Goulburn really feeds and drives a lot of the water between the Hume weir and South Australia.
This year, we’re hoping to move some golden perch around – we’ve been having some real success with breeding golden perch in the lower Murrumbidgee and the Yanga National Park wetland area. We’re going to use some environmental water to put down a fish flow event and we’re hoping some of those golden perch are going to move back into the river system and migrate.
The meeting of the two rivers here, such a powerful spot to meet. We need our water from the north to marry up, and continue to do its business down south. Not only for fish populations, for cultural obligations that a lot of our Aboriginal communities have, so just to sing that water down, to see it flow and coming into the river and then flowing onto our brothers and sister below, and those beautiful environments that it supports, is extremely important.
We want to try and get those social outcomes for communities, that get the fish, and the birds, and the veg and the bugs going. And the science;
translating that science and engaging Aboriginal people to put some of their cultural science in amongst that.
We can’t do this alone – we rely heavily on water managers, river operators and communities to help us get the water to the right places – so it’s a very collaborative planning and delivery process that we go through to get the water to the right place at the right time.
The more we work together, the more we learn about water management, the more we see in terms of responses to delivery of water in smart ways, I think we can just continue to improve.
You can find out more about our Water Management Plan on our website, or you can just contact one of the LEOs in your area.