Water Brings Life to the Mallee
Delivery of water to Mallee wetlands and floodplains has commenced across thirty two sites, as set out in the Mallee Catchment Authority’s (CMA) Seasonal Watering Plan, supported by the State Government’s broader $222 million Water for Victoria initiative, to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria.
Chair of the Mallee Catchment Management Authority, Ms. Sharyon Peart, says the chosen sites, which were agreed to by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, The Living Murray Initiative of joint governments and other agencies, provide crucial habitat and watering holes for wildlife.
“The wetlands are home to some of the Mallee’s more unique animals and are also a haven for waterbirds. It’s vital that we ensure we can maintain and improve the condition of the plants and trees within the wetlands, as they provide food and shelter for these creatures.”
Mallee CMA General Manager of Operations and Community, Mr. James Kellerman, said results from previous years’ environmental watering were very encouraging, with clear signs of wetland improvement.
“The vegetation in the wetlands that have previously received seasonal watering show obvious signs of recovery. There is more ground and foliage coverage and there are also promising signs of improved tree diversity – we’re seeing seedlings and young trees growing in areas where they had been struggling.
Mr. Kellerman said this is further reinforced by community feedback which suggests greater numbers of land and aquatic animals are being seen in and around the wetlands.
The seasonal watering in the Mallee is targeting a broad area, including wetlands within Merbein Common, Ned’s Corner, Nyah and Vinifera floodplains and the Wimmera Mallee Wetlands.
The Living Murray Icon sites Hattah Lakes, Lindsay, Wallpolla and Mulcra islands are also benefiting from watering during this period.
“We are covering a large area with this watering, to improve fish flows, plant abundance and bird feeding and breeding habitat.
“Our local communities love these places. They recognise their value environmentally but they also hold them dear as places to enjoy some ‘R&R’ and it’s important that we continue to protect and restore our wetlands so they’re here for many generations to come,” Mr. Kellerman said.
For a full list of the sites receiving seasonal water during 2017-18, visit malleecma.com.au.