Environmental River flow underway for Yarra

Melbourne Water is undertaking a summer release of 4GL of environmental water for the Yarra River from now until March 1st 2019.

Every year, in conjunction with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) we release water into the rivers, including the Yarra to provide for the environment. These flows, which are released at various times of the year are aimed to mimic the river’s natural flow patterns and improve water quality.

We do this because weather fluctuations and human activity have altered rivers and creeks, including their natural patterns.

This affects animal habitats - breeding and migration - and can upset the balance of entire plant and animal communities.Our environmental water flow releases help to restore that balance and contribute to the health of the Yarra River.

Water quality improves - so does the habitat for fish and macroinvertebrates throughout the waterway – in particular, at the pool behind the Dights Falls structure because of reduced stratification.

Water flow releases also provide opportunities for localised fish and platypus movement by connecting and maintaining habitat by flushing out still water in deep pools. This water also carries more oxygen, freshening up conditions for plants and animals.

Providing water to the environment to avoid low water quality in the Yarra River and  provide for in-stream river health is an important and often overlooked role played by our water supply system. 

Melbourne Water will release approximately 4GL of water into the Yarra River from Monday 18th February to Thursday 1st March.

The peak flow is expected to be 350ML/day at Millgrove for two days and 750ML/day for two days at Warrandyte. 

We expect increases in the water level to be approximately up to 50cm, which is well within the natural variation of the river system.

Flow conditions will be monitored throughout the release and can be amended as required.

The release is part of our planned system operations and there is sufficient water within the water entitlements for environment to provide for it.