A NEW report released last week highlights the value of environmental water to Victoria and shows it supports and protects native animals, rivers and wetlands across the state.
The Reflections: Water for the Environment in Victoria report is published annually by the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) and highlights the value of environmental water to communities.
The report outlines environmental watering across 127 river and wetland systems statewide, including the release of more than 839,000ML of environmental water in 2016-17 specifically timed to trigger fish breeding, boost vegetation, improve water quality and provide habitat for birds and animals.
The report revealed environmental water is also providing recreation opportunities for kayaking and fishing and is providing a flow-on effect to the economy.
Some other examples of environmental water in use include:
■Enticing fish to breed across more than 500 kilometres from the Murray River into Victorian waterways.
■The Campaspe River had a boost in the numbers of silver perch for the first time in 10 years.
■Numbers of juvenile Murray cod were at their highest recorded levels in the Campaspe River.
The delivery of water for the environment is part of the state government’s $222 million investment over four years to improve the health of waterways and catchments in regional Victoria.
Minister for Water Lisa Neville said Victoria’s environmental watering program is carefully planned.
‘‘It is planned with local communities, to support the state’s rivers and wetlands and the wildlife that depends on them,’’ she said.
“Waterways are being restored in the heart of Victorian communities to ensure they remain healthy and can be enjoyed by locals and visitors for years to come.’’
To view the report head to vewh.vic.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications