Environmental water or 'environmental flows' is the water needed in a river, floodplain, wetland or estuary to maintain healthy, natural ecosystems. The way in which water flows in waterways is vital to maintaining its physical, chemical and biological health – and therefore, the plants, animals and communities that rely on it.
The environmental flows required in a river system reflect the needs of animals and plants dependent on the river, its banks, floodplains and estuaries as well as the ecological processes that keep the river healthy.
Environmental flows stimulate animals like native fish and waterbirds to feed and breed and provide for other community benefits including recreation and tourism, social and heritage, and economic values, which are dependent on the environmental condition of rivers.
For more information on Environmental Water, please visit the Victorian Environmental Water Holder website.
Some of the fact sheets you will find there include:
- What is environmental water?
- Why is environmental water important?
- What does environmental water aim to achieve?
- What does environmental water involve?
- How do we know if environmental water is successful?