The WMPP replaced stock and domestic supply dams with tanks, and the open-channel distribution system with pipelines, to improve water efficiency. A portion of the water savings from the WMPP was converted to an environmental entitlement to improve the condition of the area’s flow-stressed rivers, creeks, and wetlands; the rest was used to create regional development opportunities and boost supply reliability for other users. The WMPP reduced the amount of open-water habitat in largely agricultural areas formerly supplied by the open-channel system, so a separate 1,000 ML environmental entitlement was created to water some of the wetlands that were previously supplied through the channel system. Fifty-two priority wetlands can receive water from this environmental entitlement.
Water for the environment can only be delivered to the wetlands when there is sufficient capacity in the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline system, which can be affected by demand from other pipeline customers. The North Central, Mallee and Wimmera CMAs work closely with GWMWater and land managers (including Parks Victoria, the Department of Energy, Environment, and Climate Action and private landowners) to take account of pipeline capacity constraints when ordering environmental deliveries to wetlands.