Riverine recovery underway in South Australia

Posted 9 September 2016

River Murray wetlandsSouth Australia’s River Murray wetlands will soon benefit from new management infrastructure and scientific monitoring support.

State and federal governments have approved the next phase of the Riverine Recovery Project, said Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston.

“This phase of the Riverine Recovery Project aims to improve the efficiency of environmental water use while boosting the ecological health of wetlands through the re-introduction of more natural wetting and drying cycles, and improving flow and fish passage,” she said.

Funding for this phase is $34 million for work including the construction and modernisation of wetland management infrastructure, and supporting scientific monitoring activities in 11 wetlands along the river.

“It will also improve the efficiency of environmental water use by reducing loss by evaporation,” Ruston said.

“Better managing these wetlands for positive ecological outcomes is also expected to result in water savings, which can be reallocated by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder for the further benefit of wetlands and floodplains in the southern connected system of the Murray-Darling Basin.”

SA Minister for Water and the River Murray Ian Hunter said the works would contribute to the river’s health and the resilience of its wetlands, floodplains and backwaters.

“The project will also contribute to our scientific knowledge and understanding for the management of floodplains and wetlands into the future,” he said.

“We expect the project to foster the recovery of 16 endangered wetland plants across four river reaches and double the number of wetlands where native fish are dominant, as well as ensuring the full suite of local frogs and key waterbird species can be found.”

Other key outcomes will include partnered management arrangements with Traditional Owners for the management of the Sugar Shack Wetland Complex.

The Riverine Recovery Project is due for completion in 2018.