The system has long been of a place of high significance to the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners. Paleert Tjaara Dja –Let’s make Country good together 2020 – 2030 Wadawurrung Country Plan acknowledges the special place the system has in their Dreaming: ‘The chain of ponds from the Barwon River to Reedy Lake, Hospital Lake, Lake Connewarre and Estuary Bay is connected through water and our Connewarre (Black Swan) Dreaming’.
Water for the environment can be used to manage water levels in Reedy Lake and Hospital Swamps, which connect to the Barwon River. The environmental entitlement for the lower Barwon wetlands does not provide access to water held in storage. Instead, it allows water to be diverted from the Barwon River into Reedy Lake and Hospital Swamps when river levels are above 0.7 m AHD (Australian Height Datum). High water levels in the Barwon River can also result in the natural wetting of the wetlands.