Regional River Health Strategies
The intent of a Regional River Health Strategy is to:
- establish objectives for river systems and river reaches, and to set priorities to achieve these
- engage communities in both the development and implementation of the strategy
- articulate the priorities for all relevant river health activities across an entire CMA region
- build an evidence-based and robust case for government investment in river health.
Communities can use Regional River Health Strategies to identify river-related assets, value their services (values and uses), and assess the threats and relative risks to these assets. This asset-based approach integrates environmental, economic and social considerations across the range of threats that are facing our rivers.
Our priority is to protect areas in the best condition before treating areas in the worst condition. This is a significant change in thinking and implementation for both the government and the community.
High Priority Rivers
High priority rivers have been identified through Regional River Health Strategies. A key component of the Our Water Our Future action plan commits to undertaking works that will significantly improve flows for the following high priority rivers:
- Snowy and Murray rivers, including the Murray tributaries, the Broken, Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon rivers
- Thomson and Macalister rivers
- Wimmera and Glenelg rivers
- Werribee River.
On these high priority rivers, CMAs will integrate river restoration with the management of the Environmental Water Reserve (EWR) to:
- reinstate and/or protect critical river and riparian habitat
- ensure effective delivery of the EWR, such as refurbishment of weirs or infrastructure that inhibits the release of the EWR or improving floodplain connections
- demonstrate the benefits of protecting and restoring the health of rivers to catchment communities through information, education and involvement
- monitor and assess the health of the rivers and to determine future actions.