Outcomes

Murray-Banks-web-crop.jpgOur vision for Water For Nature is to be an effective contributor of environmental water to community driven projects on privately owned or community managed wetland and floodplain sites.

Water For Nature – Gets results!

Water for Nature has delivered nearly 13,000 Megalitres of environmental water to more than 90 different wetland and floodplain sites since 2013. That is a lot of water! One megalitre is the equivalent of one million litres.

Environmental water refers to “water used to improve the health of our rivers, floodplains and wetlands”

We monitor each site to see what affect that our watering has had on nature and have seen:

  • Improved health of native trees where trees have shown improved canopy (more leaves) and increased numbers of flowers and buds;
  • Improved appearance and vigorous growth of native tree saplings;
  • Greening of dead looking lignum on the floodplain;
  • increased diversity and abundance of native waterbirds, including some species of high conservation significance at State, national and international levels;
  • increased appearance of other native animals, such as frogs and fishes; and
  • indications of “freshwater lenses” under floodplains, which benefit native trees through decreasing salinity of ground-water.

Our Water For Nature ecologist Dr Anne Jensen recently completed an invited paper updating wetland repair activities in the Riverland for the twentieth anniversary edition of the journal Ecological Management and Restoration. Please click on the links below to view:

For more information on the results that we’ve seen, check out our monitoring reports:

Still repairing wetlands of the South Australian Murray River Valley: continuing the learning 20 years on
Catch up on this update of the Gurra Gurra wetlands story, progress since 2002, and other Murray Valley wetlands benefiting from environmental watering since 2008!
The Journal of Ecological Management & Restoration has just published their 20th Anniversary Virtual Issue.

They have selected 27 papers from their back catalogue to demonstrate innovation in ecological restoration and management over the last two decades. Their website includes the original papers, alongside updates on their Project Summaries page.

One of the projects included is the story of wetland repair projects in the South Australian Murray River Valley, commenced by Wetland Care Australia 1998-2003 and now with environmental watering currently being on some of the same sites by Nature Foundation SA. The exciting news this watering season is that a Water For Nature project at Lyrup Lagoon in the Gurra Gurra wetlands, in partnership with the Central Irrigation Trust, Department for Environment and Water, and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, has produced pregnant endangered Murray Hardyhead!!!
 
The original story about the Gurra Gurra wetlands project by Wetland Care Australia is
Repairing wetlands of the Lower Murray: Learning from restoration practice.
 
The update on what has happened at Gurra and other Murray Valley wetlands over the last 20 years is Still repairing wetlands of the Lower Murray: continuing the learning.

Enjoy free access to all papers until the end of 2020!

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The key construction site in the Gurra Gurra wetlands project at Tortoise Crossing (left) saw 160 pipes installed in 2000 to replace the original three pipes, allowing 50 times more flows through this anabranch (an original river flow path). However, there were no flows until  substantial floods in 2010-2012 broke the Millenium Drought and water flowed through the system for 170 days in 2011. After a dry period in 2013-2015, water levels peaked again at the top of the double layer of pipes on 12 December 2016 and flowed through the Gurra Gurra system for 71 days (right). Photos: Anne Jensen.