Wadawurrung celebration of Water and Culture at Dog Rocks, Batesford

To combat dry conditions and improve river health and habitat for native fish platypus and other species, Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation (Wadawurrung) and Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) welcome an additional 500 ML of water for the environment, that
has been secured as a one-off, for the Moorabool River.

Continuing dry conditions have meant water for the environment has been prioritised to provide base flows and prevent fish deaths in the lower reaches of the Moorabool River.

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH), Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Central Highlands Water worked together to secure water through a trial water exchange.

Wadawurrung’s Melinda Kennedy said “securing the water was vital for maintaining flows, filling refuge pools and linking habitats to support species survival. It also ensures locations along the Moorabool that are culturally significant for meeting, ceremony, and trade are preserved.”

“One of the species this water will benefit is the short-finned eel and we will celebrate this by showcasing a hand-woven ‘Buniya Binak’ (eel trap) that has been created by Wadawurrung’s Tammy Gilson”, she said.

To maximise environmental outcomes, additional water will be delivered in tandem with Barwon Water’s 20 ML/day release of water from Lal Lal Reservoir to supply drinking water to Geelong.

Sharon Blum-Caon from Corangamite CMA said “the additional water will have a significant impact on environmental and cultural values by supporting the biodiversity of the river. The river is extremely important to the local community, including recreational users, for activities such as
fishing, boating and birdwatching.”

“Many of our rivers and wetlands have been modified as the population has grown to provide water for towns, industry and agriculture. Because of this, these waterways are not able to function as they previously did.”