The Lower Ovens Flow Recommendations Study will bring together scientific, cultural and community knowledge to identify the types of flows needed in the waterways of the Lower Ovens system and the wetting and drying patterns required in associated wetlands.
The study, being undertaken by the North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) with funding provided by the Victorian Government, will consider the impacts of a changing climate in the review of environmental flow recommendations.
Updated environmental flow recommendations will be used by the North East CMA and environmental water holders to inform the delivery of environmental water entitlements.
Project officer, Corinne Hutchinson, said the study would focus on the Lower Ovens System including:
- The Buffalo River below Lake Buffalo
- The King River below Lake William Hovell
- The Ovens River from the confluence of the Buffalo River to the Murray River
- The Lower Ovens Floodplain Wetland Complex, from Killawarra to the confluence of the Murray River within the Warby-Ovens National Park and the Lower Ovens Wildlife Reserve.
A steering committee established for the project includes the North East CMA, the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA), Goulburn-Murray Water, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, the Taungurung Land and Waters Council (TaLWC), the Yorta Yorta National Aboriginal Corporation and Parks Victoria.
Stage 1 of the project will include initial engagement with the project steering committee, as well as the broader community and Traditional Owner interests to identify the key values of the Lower Ovens System and to set a vision and flow objectives.
A survey is now open at https://forms.office.com/r/YWpUuHdwdi until 31 May, inviting all community members to provide feedback. A community engagement workshop will be held at Oxley Shire Hall on Wednesday 17 May between 6pm and 7.30pm. Register your interest at https://events.humanitix.com/lower-ovens-flows-study-community-workshop
Stage 2 of the project will develop the flow recommendations and include further input from the steering committee, Traditional Owners and community engagement before the completion of the final report by March 2024.
For further information go to the North East CMA website at Lower Ovens Flows Study (necma.vic.gov.au)