The central Murray wetlands are almost wholly contained within the Torrumbarry Irrigation Area and are all wetlands of regional or international significance. The area has experienced dramatic changes since European settlement with the construction of levees, roads, and channels. Most of the wetlands are now cut off from natural flow paths and are rarely filled, except by large natural floods. They rely on water for the environment to maintain their ecological character and health.
Eleven of the central Murray wetlands can receive water for the environment from permanent infrastructure: Hird Swamp, Johnson Swamp, Kunat Kunat, Lake Cullen, Lake Elizabeth, Lake Murphy, McDonalds Swamp, Muringa wetlands, Richardson’s Lagoon, Third Reedy Lake, and the Wirra-Lo wetlands. Temporary pumps are currently used to deliver water for the environment from the Murray River to some semi-permanent wetlands in the Guttrum and Benwell forests when required. More permanent water delivery infrastructure for Guttrum and Benwell forests is proposed as part of the Victorian Murray Floodplain Restoration Project.