Water for the environment
There is a diverse range of wetlands along the River Murray in SA including permanent rivers, streams and creeks, permanent and brackish lakes, and intermittent or seasonal lakes, streams, and creeks. Environmental water plays a vital role in supporting the future of the River Murray and its wetlands and floodplains.
With water diversions and regulation both interstate and within South Australia, the flows in the River Murray have significantly declined. The floodplain wetlands along the river now face either permanent inundation, due to the locks and weirs holding artificially high pool levels, or are subjected to more frequent ‘human induced’ droughts. Wetland management and planning aims to address this situation by implementing more natural water regimes. For some wetlands this means implementing occasional drying regimes and for others it means aiming to flood the wetland more frequently.
The Wetland and Floodplain Unit of Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin undertakes the coordination and on-ground delivery of significant projects related to the River Murray floodplain and wetlands. The unit also has a key role as an advocate for environmental flows and environmental water management.
The Wetland and Floodplain Unit delivers:
- environmental water planning
- environmental water delivery and management
- community engagement
- monitoring, research and investigations
- on-ground works
- input into policy and SA River Murray / Murray-Darling Basin initiatives
The geographic scope of the unit is wetlands and floodplain located along the River Murray from the border to the Murray Mouth and includes the Katarapko Floodplain (Katfish Reach), and wetlands and floodplains on private land and public lands. So that this water is used effectively, plans are in place for the management of these wetlands and floodplains, and the ecological condition of these areas is monitored.