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Donated Water Revives Unique Murray Wetland

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on May 17th, 2010

Source: Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF)

The 400 million litres of water purchased by the Australian Conservation Foundation with donations from people from all over the country has started to flow into the Hattah Lakes wetlands in northern Victoria.  ACF’s Just Add Water initiative, launched on 15 March, aimed to raise enough money to purchase 200 million litres of water for Hattah. But the response from the public was so big that within two weeks ACF doubled its target. The 400 million litres was purchased on the water market and now it is flowing into the wetlands.

“It’s a thrill to see the water flowing back into this wetland which has not had a major flood since 1996″, said ACF’s Dr Paul Sinclair.  “Wetlands filter our water and provide feeding and breeding sites for many fish and bird species.  Environmental watering like this is necessary because too much water has been taken out of the Murray-Darling over too many decades, mostly for irrigated agriculture.  In fact, 90 per cent of wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin have already been lost.  Today’s event shows how people power can help revive a thirsty wetland.  It also sends a powerful message to the Water Minister, Senator Penny Wong, that she should expand the Federal Government’s program of buying water and return it to the desperately dry rivers and wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin.”

The water is being delivered to Hattah Lakes through the Victorian Government’s environmental watering program in partnership with Parks Victoria and the Mallee Catchment Management Authority.  Remote cameras have been installed to film the lakes filling over the next three months. Footage can be viewed at: www.justaddwater.org.au.

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