Winter flow for Gunbower Forest

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A monitoring site on the Gunbower Forest floodplain. Photo by North Central CMA

After four years without water, red gums on the Gunbower Forest floodplain will receive a drink.

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder commissioner has given the green light to let the water flow and fill about a quarter of the forest, or 4500 hectares.

VEWH co-chief executive Sarina Loo said people could expect about 40 per cent of that water to flow back into the Murray River, providing some amazing food for native fish.

Rainfall and streamflow records show that without river regulation, the Gunbower floodplains would have been underwater from July 2021 to January 2022.

North Central Catchment Management Authority chief executive Brad Drust said the water would begin to flow into the lower floodplains from Friday, May 27.

“Despite all the recent wet weather, most of the broader floodplain hasn’t had any water on it for four years,” Mr Drust said.

“Without any substantial natural flooding since 2018, the gains made with water for the environment in 2014, 2015 and 2018, and a natural flood in 2016, are being lost.”

Up to 74Gl will flow across the floodplain from now until November.