Water for the Environment

How do we make sure there is enough water for the environment?

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Many of Victoria’s rivers and wetlands have been modified as the population has grown to provide water important for towns, industry and food production.

In some rivers, up to half of the water that would have naturally flowed in them is removed each year for urban consumption, irrigation and industry.

As a result, these waterways are not able to function as they would naturally. This means we need to manage flows in rivers and to wetlands.

Water is specifically set aside for the environment in Victoria’s water management framework in 3 ways – water entitlements , obligations on consumptive use entitlements and above cap water.

How do we manage this?

The volume of total managed environmental water available in 2019–20 was 2,139 GL, more than in 2018–19 (2,083 GL).

In 2020–21, the volume of total managed environmental water available was 2,186 GL, higher than the year before (2,139 GL).

Of this total available, 657 GL of environmental water was delivered during the year to 87 priority river reaches and 84 wetlands in Victoria and 543 GL was delivered via the Murray River to the South Australian border.

During 2020–21, the VEWH reported that 92% (194) of the 211 required watering actions either fully or partially achieved their intended hydrological outcomes. Of the 194, 154 relied on the contribution of managed water for the environment. The remaining 40 potential watering actions were achieved through passing flows, natural flows, unregulated flows and/or the delivery of consumptive water; or a drying regime was intentionally implemented at the site.

Visit the VEWH website

To view the full 2020-2021 Victorian Water Accounts click the link below.

Victorian Water Accounts