Water for the Environment

Water for the environment keeps our rivers flowing and healthy…

‘Water for the environment’ is water that is set aside in major reservoirs and carefully released down the river to support the health of West Gippsland’s waterways. It can also be diverted from the river into the lower Latrobe wetlands.

Victoria’s rivers and wetlands provide water for towns, industry and food production. This means we remove a large part of the water that would normally flow into these ecosystems.

Because of this, the health of our rivers and wetlands is under threat. This means they may not be able to support the animals and plants that depend on them.

To limit this impact, Victoria has ‘water for the environment’ in water storages. This water is stored and released to support the animals and plants that live in rivers and wetlands.

Water releases are planned each year, based on climate forecasts, past flows and current science.

Water for the Environment in West Gippsland

The systems in the Gippsland region that can receive water for the environment are Durt-Yowan (Latrobe River), lower Latrobe wetlands, Carran Carran (Thomson River), Heyfield wetlands and Wirn wirndook Yeerung (Macalister River).

We are responsible for the management of water for the environment. Learn more in our fact sheet “Water for the environment in West Gippsland – why it matters.” 

The water releases planned for the coming year are outlined in the latest Seasonal Watering Plan, released by the VEWH.

Please note:

Water releases do not impact on the security of water supply or access to irrigation water. They are also below minor flood levels. They will not impact on properties or assets next to the river or wetland.

Useful information

You can find some quick links below to useful information regarding environmental water in the West Gippsland region.

2023-24 Water for the environment snapshot
2023-24 Seasonal Watering Proposal for the Latrobe, Thomson and Macalister
2023-24 Seasonal Watering Proposal for the Lower Latrobe Wetlands

The VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan, informed by our Seasonal Watering Proposal, guides environmental watering decisions in Gippsland. It provides program partners, stakeholders and communities with a sense of what to expect during the year.

Watch the videos below to learn more about water for the environment, or visit the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) to learn about: why water for the environment is important, what it aims to achieve, and how we measure success.