A partnership between Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) and Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) is yielding great results as the watering of the Hattah Lakes enters its second month.
The internationally significant Ramsar-listed wetlands have been responding positively to their ‘big drink’.
Staff from Mallee CMA and GMW have been monitoring Hattah’s infrastructure and flows since watering began on July 1 and say that water is moving well through the creeks and reaching areas that will get considerable benefit from the initiative.
GMW Managing Director Pat Lennon said all seven pumps are operational and progress is better than anticipated.
“It’s great to be involved in a significant environmental project such as this which has a multitude of benefits. It’s also demonstrated the strong and cooperative relationship between agencies,” he said.
Mallee CMA Chair Sharyon Peart said the water will help to improve the condition of the wetland and floodplain system, which is good news for the environment and for the community.
“This water delivers great things to the Hattah environment, in terms of supporting the health of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals and this of course, is wonderful for the wider community.
“We have this incredibly special landscape just outside our backdoor and the full lakes and creeks will bring more life and more recreational opportunities to people who love to get out and enjoy everything the Mallee has to offer.”
The water for Hattah project is a demonstration of collaboration with key organisations working to deliver the best outcome for The Living Murray Icon site.
Along with many partners, Mallee CMA and GMW have forged a strong relationship as they both undertake management roles of the project, to ensure the water into Hattah is delivered efficiently and effectively.
Ms. Peart said this is critical to day-to-day operations.
“We work closely with GMW as they continue to manage the on-ground functions and maintain the integrity of the pumps. They have a key role in operating and manipulating the environmental infrastructure to, as best as we can, mimic a natural flooding event.”
The water for Hattah project will continue through to November, by which time, the outer reaches of the Hattah floodplain, will have received water to help restore the black box trees which are struggling after decades without flood water.
The water for Hattah is being contributed jointly by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and The Living Murray and is being co-ordinated by the Mallee CMA in partnership with Goulburn Murray Water and Parks Victoria.
The project is funded by the Mallee CMA through The Living Murray which is a joint initiative funded by the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory and Commonwealth governments, coordinated by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.