Water for wetlands on private property

Landholders are playing a central role in the protection and restoration of wetlands on private properties.

More than 80% of all wetlands in NSW occur on private land. They form part of a network of sites that were joined historically by periods of high rainfall and/or flooding.

Private Property Wetlands Watering Project

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) manages the Private Property Wetlands Watering Project, which provides water to wetlands that have been disconnected from natural flood paths.

In consultation with landholders, water is delivered to wetland sites using a number of methods including pumping and diversion from irrigation supply channels. This water has been acquired by the NSW Government through water savings projects.


Since the program began in 2001 more than 200 private wetlands and creek systems have taken delivery of environmental flows, with the following outcomes:

  • an increase in wetland plants
  • new growth in fringing vegetation, including Black box and River red gum
  • re-setting of the seedbank
  • bird-breeding
  • re-emergence of endangered frogs and other species

Collaboration with landholders has been the key to achieving these results. OEH works with landholders to determine priority sites, schedule flows, optimise infrastructure and manage the delivery of water. OEH staff ‑ with the help of landholders ‑ monitor the response of vegetation and wildlife during and after flows.

From creeks and billabongs to swamps and gilgai – landholders are seeing the benefits of water for the environment.