Restoration programs

Several large programs are helping to improve the resilience of River Murray communities, wetlands and floodplains in South Australia.

All of them engage with and take advice from local stakeholders, including land managers and traditional owners.

We also recognise that information and knowledge must support decision-making. Research and monitoring contributes to achieving the best possible scientifically based solutions.

Riverine Recovery Project

The Riverine Recovery Project is looking at using adaptive management and engineering solutions to bring back flow variations that existed before locks, weirs and causeways were built. The flows will benefit ecosystems along the River Murray between Wellington and the border of South Australia and Victoria.

It will also deliver up to 15 gigalitres of environmental water savings to the Australian Government, to be used for environmental purposes in the southern-connected basin.

The following work has been undertaken or is currently underway:

The Riverine Recovery Project (RRP) is a $98 million joint Australian and State Government initiative to improve the health of the River Murray and its wetlands and floodplains from the South Australian border to Wellington.

See below two videos that highlight the benefits of the work over the life of the project. There is short 3:55 version (top) and a longer version 9:06 below.

SA Riverland Floodplain Integrated Infrastructure Program

The SA Riverland Floodplain Integrated Infrastructure Program aims to improve the environmental health and resilience of wetlands and floodplains in the Riverland region.

It is a seven year investment program that involves the construction of infrastructure at the Pike and Katarapko floodplains.

This program will enable us to more effectively manage flows into and around these floodplains. We will be able to simulate natural flooding regimes to return these areas to a healthy state. It also means that we can more effectively use water for the environment and better manage saline groundwater. During times of low flows, we will be able to better maintain floodplain health and critical refuges for water dependent species.

Early investigations and planning are now complete, and construction is taking place between 2015 and 2020.

Find out more about what's happening:

This program contributes to the delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. It is a $155 million investment program funded by the Australian Government and implemented by the South Australian Government to improve the watering and management of River Murray floodplains in South Australia’s Riverland.

Coorong and Lower Lakes Recovery Project

A wetland of international importance

The impacts of prolonged drought and water over-allocation across the Murray-Darling Basin left the Coorong and lakes Alexandrina and Albert (the Lower Lakes) wetlands on the brink of environmental collapse. The return of water has provided much needed relief and wetlands are showing signs of recovery. But more work needs to be done.

This project is restoring the ecological and productive value of the region through these actions:

  1. Restoring habitats
    • Rehabilitating Meningie foreshore wetland
    • Lake Albert Scoping Study
    • South East Flows Restoration; helping to reduce salinity in the Coorong South Lagoon
    • Managing fish populations through fishway installations and fish reintroductions
  2. Restoring vegetation
    • The extensive Vegetation Program is restoring up to 130 native species of plant by collecting and propagating seeds, planting seeds and seedlings, putting up fences, protecting Aboriginal heritage, and controlling pest plants and animals
    • The Ruppia Translocation Program is restoring the aquatic plant by collecting Ruppia seeds at Lake Cantara and planting them in the Coorong South Lagoon
  3. Managing acid sulfate soils
  4. Identifying research priorities
  5. Creating and maintaining partnerships with the Ngarrindjeri
  6. Keeping the community involved and informed

The Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Recovery Project is funded by the South Australian Government’s Murray Futures program and the Australian Government. For more information click here.

The Living Murray

Restoring flows at key ‘icon sites’

The Living Murray is returning environmental water flows to the environment at six ‘icon sites’ along the river, three of which are in South Australia:

The program was created in response to increasing community concerns and evidence of a long-term serious decline in the health of the River Murray system.

The Living Murray is a joint initiative funded by the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, Australian Capital Territory and Commonwealth governments, coordinated by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

Our projects page is a good place to find out about activities near you.

Funding partners

Australian Government - SA Murray Darling Basin Authority
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