We’ve radically altered the landscape

In creating a ‘foodbowl for the nation’, we’ve dramatically altered the way these rivers run. And have been taking out too much water, for too long. The Goulburn River, for example, has over 80 percent of its water extracted for irrigation, residential and other uses.

We’ve radically altered the landscape and these forests, rivers and wetlands are suffering from lack of water

River flow regimes have been inverted, with too much (and too cold) water flowing down rivers in summer time. Too little water is being left in the rivers in winter time – naturally the period of higher flows. Seasonally, we’ve reversed what goes on in the rivers. And, in the words of Dr Paul Humphries, this means that ‘our rivers – and the animals and plants that live in them ‐ have been exposed to massive climate change for more than 100 years’.

So today, species like the Intermediate Egret and the Trout Cod, and Victoria’s northern rivers like the Goulburn, Loddon and Campapse which flow into the Murray river, are at a critical turning point.

If not watered soon, the health of these River Red Gum forest wetlands will continue its downward spiral, and the effect will be catastrophic for their wildlife.