Working together to achieve positive outcomes

Egrets in marsh

Outcomes of managing and releasing water for the environment

We work with our NSW and Commonwealth partner agencies to deliver water for the environment when and where it’s required to achieve the best possible outcomes.

We have been able to achieve many positive ecological outcomes for our rivers, floodplains, plants and animals even during drought. This includes maintaining drought refuges to avoid loss of vital populations of native plants and animals.

In the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) a marked improvement in the overall health of the Basin has occurred since the implementation of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan in 2012. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s website provides information on how releases of water for the environment have combined with variable natural rainfall and river flows to change the health of the Basin waterways over time.

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office celebrated 10 years of delivering water for the environment in the Murray-Darling Basin in 2018. Download a flyer which showcases some of these achievements and view how CEWO has used their water in each catchment and what that water for the environment has achieved.

In NSW in 2017-18, environmental water was managed and released to provide opportunities for native fish and waterbirds to feed and breed, plants to grow and set seed, and floodplains to release essential nutrients into the food chain. The OEH’s report Use of water for the environment in NSW: Outcomes 2017-18 provides a summary of the ecological outcomes achieved across NSW.

To help plants and animals survive the drought in the northern MDB, State and Commonwealth governments collaborated to provide water for the environment in the Northern Murray-Darling Basin through the Northern Connectivity Event in April - June 2018 and the Northern Fish Flow Event in 2019.

The Northern Connectivity Event provided benefit to native fish along the Barwon-Darling River in the northern Murray-Darling Basin by improving longitudinal connectivity, and therefore providing improved food sources, and opportunities to move and disperse to better habitats. The Northern Fish Flow event helped native fish and supported river communities in the Barwon River. Read about the outcomes of the Northern Connectivity Event and the Northern Fish Flow event.

In the southern Murray-Darling Basin planning and collaboration across State and Commonwealth agencies has made the 2019 Southern Spring Flow possible. CEWO will publish regular updates of the Southern Spring Flow 2019.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) plays a key role in the success of these environmental watering events. NRAR officers monitored compliance with any pumping restrictions during the events, ensuring that water for the environment is protected.