Restoring Natural Waterflow
Wonga Wetlands is an ecologically sustainable solution for reclaimed water management and re-use.
Since the construction of the Hume Dam in 1919, the Murray River has been regulated for irrigation. This has restricted flooding and altered the cycle of seasonal floods. When flooding does occur it is less intense and is often in summer and early autumn instead of the natural flood season of winter and early spring.
This alteration to the natural flow and the regulation of the river has dried out many of the floodplain wetlands and billabongs, destroying the breeding habitats of birds and fish.
Wonga Wetlands is helping to restore the natural flow of water, and birds and other wildlife are returning as a result. The area has also been made more accessible to the public and researchers - while protecting and enhancing the habitat for native flora and fauna.
The water bringing new life to this beautiful area is not directly from the river: rather, it comes from AlburyCity's reclaimed water treatment systems. During drier months the reclaimed water is used for irrigation, and in the wetter months it is redirected to the wetlands. This wetting and drying cycle of the wetlands matches the what would happen in an uncontrolled River Floodplain, flooding in winter and drying out over summer.