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Wednesday, 16 March 2022

King River - caring for country

Water for the environment delivered to the King River has been boosted this season, through a partnership between North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA), Taungurung Land and Waters Council (TLaWC), the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) and a dedicated landholder on the King River.

The TLaWC and private landowner water entitlements were combined with Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder holdings to increase water for the environment in the King River.

Released from Lake William Hovell in February, the allocation provided flow variability while inundating new habitat in which aquatic animals can move and feed.

North East CMA Environmental Water Resources Officer, Catherine McInerney, said the increase has had environmental, social and cultural benefits.

“We’re improving the environment through providing a more natural flow regime,” Ms McInerney said.

“We’re also strengthening the partnerships between Traditional Owners and landholders. We aim to continue and build on these partnerships which are crucial to maintaining the health of the King River.”

TLaWC’s Water Management Officer, Voytek Lapinski, said TLaWC had contributed water from an entitlement in the King River, associated with a property at Cheshunt, to the overall pool of water available for environmental flows.

“Delivering water to heal Taungurung Country increases our bond with the rivers while supporting the local flora and fauna to thrive in their natural habitats,” Mr Lapinski said.

“The connection between water and the Taungurung people is powerful, and this is an example of the way in which water should be returned to care for Country – for the benefit of all.”

Ms McInerney said new water quality monitoring being installed at Docker Bridge Road on the King River would provide information that would assist with future water deliveries targeted to benefit the river’s environmental values.

“This will give access to real-time data for water temperature and dissolved oxygen levels, which can indicate whether there is a risk of fish death or stress in the system over the hotter months,” she said.

Landholders on the King River who are interested in donating their water to the environment on an annual basis can contact Catherine McInerney at North East CMA on catherine.mcinerney@necma.vic.gov.au for a confidential discussion.

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