The health of the Ramsar-listed Hattah Lakes in the Mallee has been given an A grade rating in a Murray Darling Basin Authority report card thanks to work by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority and the Andrews Labor Government.
The Murray Darling Basin Authority has just released its annual Living Murray Asset Report Cardshowing the health of Hattah Lakes improved from a C in 2013-14 to an A in 2019-20.
The improvement is thanks to environmental watering that has helped to mitigate the effects of reduced flooding due to the lack of connectivity to the Murray. Monitoring shows the watering has led to an increase in tree health, growth and reproduction.
The most recent environmental watering, delivered by Mallee Catchment Management Authority and Goulburn-Murray Water, saw 13 of the 18 Hattah Lakes wetlands covering 1310 hectares inundated with water.
The watering brought an abundance of wildlife and vital wetland vegetation back to the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park south of Mildura.
Water delivery at Hattah-Kulkyne National Park also provides great benefits for local apiarists, with conditions ideally suited for bees to rejuvenate and pollinate flowering native bush land.
The Hattah-Kulkyne National Park is culturally significant, and the Mallee Catchment Management Authority works with Parks Victoria and local Traditional Owner groups to coordinate water delivery.
A spring top-up for the wetlands is planned which will target river red gums lower on the floodplain that are in need of a drink.
As stated by Parliamentary Secretary for Water Harriet Shing
“Victorian communities have done the heavy lifting in recovering water for the environment – and it’s good to see this is having benefits in Victoria.”
“We are working with Traditional Owners and local communities on similar projects at further important sites along the Murray as part of the Victorian Floodplain Restoration Project.”
“The Floodplain Restoration Project is about getting the maximum environmental benefits from water already recovered – and helps Victoria meet its Basin Plan obligations without any water recovery from farming communities.”
As stated by Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp
“The Ramsar-listed Hattah Lakes are an amazing part of Victoria and a precious environmental asset. It’s so good to see that our investments are paying off improving the health of the lakes and surrounding areas.”