The Living Murray Project
The Living Murray is a large scale river restoration program in Australia. It was initially established to help revitalize the River Murray system, the health of which has been on the decline. The program is a join initiative headed by Victorian, Commonwealth, Australian Capital Territory, South Australian, and New South Waves governments. The coordination duties are handled by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
At first, The Living Murray put its focus towards securing water entitlements (equaling as much as 500 GL of water on a long term average) in order to achieve environmentally charged objectives along 6 river icon sites. When it comes to environmental water entitlements, The Living Murray has some of the largest around. Environmental water is, of course, water intended only for specific environmental usage. It shares the same allocations that are given to irrigation water.
The Living Murray has made marked improvements in the environmental water portfolio of the 6 icon sites. The effectiveness of the program is perhaps best illustrated by the period between 2006 and 2010, where the flow of the Murray catchment was easily at its worst in recorded history. Despite this, the program managed to use environmental water to stave off any irreversible environmental damage. Many threatened species were protected in the process.
In orer to ensure that all water being secured for the icon sites is properly used, The Living Murray is undertaking what has become the largest of all Australian environmental works. This will help get water to well over 35,000 hectares of immensely significant forests, lakes, and wetlands along the River Murray.
Water management structure like regulators, channels, and levees, are going to help keep the environment of the icon sites sustained. Environmental water will be distributed efficiently, and the structure are going to make sure all water is delivered in a volume that is safe enough not to cause damage.
One thing is for sure if we don’t look after this precious resource, the Murray will become a distant memory for our descendants.