Private Property Wetlands Watering Project (PPWWP)
About the project
The Private Property Wetlands Watering Project (PPWWP) is a voluntary program that was first implemented in 2001 by Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group.
The program is currently managed by NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE) who works closely with landholders to identify private wetlands and provide environmental water to these sites to achieve ecological outcomes.
Private watering heavily relies on the voluntary support of landholders who help manage water flows to the wetlands on their private property. This is also where Murray Irrigation is involved, by utilising the infrastructure to deliver water to the targeted outlets.
Since 2001, over 74,000 megalitres of environment allocated water has been delivered to more than 215 wetlands and over 67 kilometres of ephemeral creeks throughout the Murray Valley. Some of these sites include black box depressions, lignum swamps, and river red gum floodplains.
Why is this project important?
Temporary natural wetlands, which are a result of overflowing river systems, harbour biodiversity that is unique to its environment and important for the surrounding landscape.
Many creatures such as frogs, water birds, insects, mammals, trees, and plants are dependent on the balanced wetland environment to sustain a healthy ecosystem and thrive, even in periods of drought.
The frequency of natural flooding of these sites has reduced and the wetlands watering project has replicated this natural frequency.
- Achieves environmental outcomes
- Collaboration between Government agency, the community and Murray Irrigation
- Aligns with Murray Irrigation’s strategic objectives
- Adds value to an irrigation system that is now underutilised.
What role does Murray Irrigation play in this?
Murray Irrigation’s channel system is perfectly placed to enable the strategic delivery of environmental water to an abundance of wetlands located on private property throughout the system.
Murray Irrigation works closely with NSW DPIE and private landholders to deliver the environment allocated water to wetlands on private property via customer outlets.
DPIE allocates the water to landholder’s accounts who then place their orders through their outlet and manage the flow to the site through their on-farm irrigation infrastructure.
This process allows efficient levels of water to be delivered at the right time to maximise the outcomes at these sites, and to achieve the goals it sets out in the program.
These controlled flow outputs help to improve the health of sites and support the habitat for water-dependent plants and biodiversity, including threatened species such as the southern bell frog (Litoria raniformis).
Murray Irrigation, along with landholders, also provide support in monitoring the water for the environment sites and liaise their findings back to DPIE.
Field trips are conducted by DPIE from time to time, with groups like the EWAG (Environmental Water Advisory Group) to share and educate others on the outcomes that are being achieved from these sites.
Southern Bell Frog program
A key focus for Murray Irrigation and DPIE under the PPWWP is the recovery and sustainability of the Southern Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis).
Murray Irrigation works collaboratively with DPIE to identify opportunities and provide more resources to further expand the targeted areas for the Saving our Species Mid-Murray Management area and to continue to see great outcomes for the Southern Bell frog.
For more info on Southern Bell Frog, click here.
A Saving Our Species (SOS) funded project is being developed by OEH for the recovery of southern bell frogs. The SOS project includes a management site in the Murray Irrigation area and will involve 15-20 wetlands identified as suitable southern bell frog habitat (sites TBC).
Murray Irrigation continues to work closely with DPIE and landholders to achieve environmental outcomes in the area and to further identify and expand on watering opportunities in the footprint.
We encourage landholders to get in contact with Murray Irrigation if they have identified a wetland site on their property that could be a potential watering site for DPIE to assess.
**If you think you may have a wetland site on your private property that is critical for the biodiversity and ecosystem around it, please contact our Customer Operations team on 1300 138 265.