Water for the environment
Nesting straw-necked Ibis in the Lower Gingham wetlands. Photo: Joshua Smith.
The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has prepared NSW Annual Environmental Watering Plans for the 2013-14 water year. The plans for the five major regulated valleys are based on advice from the Environmental Water Advisory Group in each valley. Summaries of environmental watering priorities for each valley are now available on this website. To find out more, follow the links to each valley located in our “Managing environmental water” section below.
Find out how governments and the community are working together to deliver water to our environment. View stories, photos and videos on environmental watering events.
Water for the Environment News and Environmental water use in NSW: Annual Report 2011-12 provide information on environmental water activities and events across NSW.
Why do we need water for the environment?
The NSW Government recognises that water is essential to the environment, the economy and the social structures which rely on these, and is committed to the equitable and productive use of water resources. NSW environmental water management is improving environmental outcomes for rivers and wetlands while contributing to regional, social and economic objectives.
Managing environmental water
The Office of Environment and Heritage manages both environmental water allowances (established under water sharing plans) and NSW Environmental Water Holdings. OEH also delivers environmental water held by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and non-government organisations. OEH activity is focused in five valleys where there are significant wetlands along with substantial environmental water allocations and NSW Environmental Water Holdings:
Opportunities for environmental watering at target sites across the state are considered in the context of the availability of environmental water and the likely ecological response to water at any given time. The plans outline the priorities for how environmental water may be used in the coming year, depending on climatic factors and water availability.
Planning framework for environmental water
A range of plans have been developed to support the management of environmental water.
Support for managing environmental water
OEH uses a variety of tools to support its decision-making in the management of environmental water, including expert advice from research organisations, Environmental Water Advisory Groups and other government agencies, such as:
Environmental Water Advisory Groups play an important role in providing the NSW Government with advice on environmental water management activities and provide a unique forum for drawing on expert knowledge, including local knowledge and experience
OEH, and other agencies, undertake a range of projects to enhance the benefits of environmental watering, including infrastructure works to improve environmental water delivery and investigations to support adaptive management of environmental water.
Reporting on environmental water use
Environmental water management activities and outcomes for 2011-12 are reported in Environmental water use in NSW: Annual Report 2011-12.
Page last updated: 10 July 2013