Environmental water release to the Yarra River system

Yarra River.


Melbourne Water, in partnership with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH), will commence an environmental water release (the Release) to the Yarra River on Friday 4 March 2016.

Otherwise known as a "summer fresh", the Release will improve habitat for aquatic life and will enhance the River’s health, countering the effects of recent low flows.

Why this is needed

Flows in the River have remained low during summer. During low flows, fine sediments accumulate on the river bed and water quality declines, in turn reducing habitat for aquatic species.

In the lower part of the River, releases in December and late January were successful in improving water quality. However, persistent low flows and hot weather means conditions have started to deteriorate again.

This will be the first release in the upper part of the River, as flows have been too low to enable us to undertake a release earlier.

The Release will benefit the River’s many aquatic species, including the regionally significant River Blackfish, Macquarie Perch and the platypus.

What is involved

The release will see up to 3.5 billion litres of water replenish the River from Friday 4 March to Saturday 26 March 2016. This water is part of the River’s annual allocation.

During the release, water levels along the Yarra and Watts rivers will rise in the order of 20 – 90 cm, which is within the usual level of variance.

Melbourne Water will work with the VEWH and other stakeholders to closely monitor the River’s and aquatic life responses to inform future releases.

More information

For further information please  visit www.melbournewater.com.au