We’re releasing environmental water into the Werribee River system in January and March, to improve water quality as well as habitat for plants and animals.
Water for the environment is used to mimic the pattern of natural flows, maintaining the overall health of rivers, wetlands, floodplains and estuaries – and the plants and animals that live there. It also delivers broader social, cultural and economic benefits.
These two releases, also known as ‘summer freshes’, aim to improve water quality and support aquatic wildlife – including Black bream fish.
What the releases involve
Water will be released from Melton Reservoir over the Lower Werribee Diversion Weir. Both flows aim to release 80 megalitres (80 million litres) a day over the weir, and will each use a total of 240 megalitres from the Werribee River Environmental Entitlement.
Summer fresh 1 – January 2020
Monitoring of the Werribee River is showing that it has not received sufficient flows to support the plants and animals that live in it.
This release aims to improve:
- water quality, including dispersing blue green algae in the waterway below Werribee Township
- connections between patches of habitat for animals like fish and platypus, allowing them to travel between places for feeding and reproduction.
Summer fresh 2 – March 2020
This environmental flow uses water released from Lake Merrimu and stored since spring 2017.
It aims to add to the Werribee estuary's Black bream fish population, triggering fish movement between freshwater areas and the sea so that the fish can complete their lifecycle.
To learn more about why this work is important and other ways we’re managing this precious resource, visit our water for the environment webpage.