Journal article

Using water destined for irrigation to conserve wetland ecosystems: A basis for assessing feasibility

MJ Sammonds, GJ Vietz, JF Costelloe



Regulated rivers often have associated wetlands with declining ecological health due to reduced inundation frequency. One innovative option to improve the ecological condition of such wetlands is to use them as temporary off-river water storages, where the water used to inundate them is subsequently allocated to consumptive use. The hydrologic feasibility of this option has yet to be demonstrated. We investigated three physical aspects of a floodplain wetlands system that must be considered, relative to irrigation demand, to determine feasibility: (a) historical inundation frequencies and the effect of regulation and climate change, (b) natural storage volumes and enhanced volumes using reta..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge Ali Aien, Nathan Ning, and Susanne Watkins for their assistance with the fieldwork for this study and Steve Wealands and Ali Aien for developing the GIS methods. The lidar and irrigation demand data were provided courtesy of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA). This project was part of a larger Farms, Rivers and Markets Project, which is an initiative of Uniwater and funded by The National Water Commission, The Victorian Water Trust, The Dookie Farms 2000 Trust (Tallis Trust), and The University of Melbourne. The Farms, Rivers and Markets Project is supported by the Departments of Sustainability and Environment and Primary Industry, the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, and Goulburn Murray Water.