The two main storages on the Loddon River are Cairn Curran Reservoir and Tullaroop Reservoir. Laanecoorie Reservoir is a smaller storage that is used to regulate water released from the larger upstream storages. Flow in the Loddon River downstream of Laanecoorie Reservoir is regulated by the operation of the Bridgewater, Serpentine, Loddon and Kerang weirs.
Water for the environment can be delivered to the Loddon River from Cairn Curran or Tullaroop reservoirs or from the Goulburn system via the Waranga Western Channel, which intersects with the Loddon River at Loddon Weir. Water is provided to Pyramid Creek through releases from Kow (Ghow) Swamp, which receives water diverted from the Murray River at Torrumbarry Weir. Water is diverted from the Loddon River to the Loddon Valley Irrigation Area to supply agriculture and to Serpentine Creek to support environmental values and supply agriculture.
The highly regulated nature of the Loddon system provides both challenges and opportunities for effective management of water for the environment. The ability to manipulate the timing of releases at multiple locations can help achieve environmental outcomes at discrete locations. However, coordinating environmental flows and consumptive flows is difficult through the irrigation season, especially when irrigation demand is high or flow in the river is highly variable. These issues can constrain the timing and delivery of water for the environment or lead to greater-than-recommended flows above Loddon Weir. The structures used for managing irrigation water form barriers in the waterway, restrict flow reliability and create barriers to aquatic animal movement throughout the river, which make it harder to achieve good outcomes for native fish and possibly platypus.
Proportion of water entitlements in the Loddon system held by private users, water corporations and environmental water holders on 30 June 2020