Water for the environment

Victoria’s rivers and wetlands provide water for towns, industry and food production. This means we remove a large part of the water that would normally flow into these ecosystems.

Because of this, the health of our rivers and wetlands is under threat. This means they may not be able to support the animals and plants that depend on them.

To limit this impact, Victoria has ‘water for the environment’ in water storages. This water is stored and released to support the animals and plants that live in rivers and wetlands.

Water releases are planned each year, based on climate forecasts, past flows and current science.

Watch the video below to learn more about water for the environment, or visit the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) to learn about:

  • why water for the environment is important
  • what it aims to achieve, and
  • how we measure success.

Useful information

2021 Seasonal Watering Plan page 1
Water for the Environment 202122 Seasonal Watering Plan summary page 2
  • The VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan, informed by our Seasonal Watering Proposal, guides environmental watering decisions in Gippsland. It provides program partners, stakeholders and communities with a sense of what to expect during the year.
  • Read in Reflections how water for the environment has improved conditions in the Macalister and Thomson rivers for native Tupong fish
  • You can read more about previous plans in the 2020-2021 Seasonal Watering Proposal summary and full plan.

Water for environment in West Gippsland

There are five systems in our region that can receive water for the environment. These include the Thomson, lower Macalister, Tanjil and Latrobe rivers and the lower Latrobe wetlands. Learn more about “Water for the environment in West Gippsland – why it matters”

We are responsible for the management of this water. The water releases planned for the coming year are outlined in the latest Seasonal Watering Plan.

Highlights from previous water releases for the environment can be read in Reflections – Water for the Environment in Victoria

Please note:

Water releases do not impact on the security of water supply or access to irrigation water. They are also below minor flood levels. They will not impact on properties or assets next to the river or wetland.

You can subscribe to receive notifications on future water releases in the form below or learn more about current releases.

Macalister River at Bellbird Corner before a winter release
Macalister River at Bellbird Corner during a winter high flow

Macalister River at Bellbird Corner before the winter high flow

Macalister River at Bellbird Corner during a winter high flow

Page updated 24 March, 2022