The Federal Government has announced Murray-Darling Basin rivers and wetlands will receive as much as 1,449 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water in 2013.


Federal Minister for Water, Tony Burke, released the Government’s watering plans for the basin that outline the Commonwealth’s strategic approach aimed at ensuring the water provides maximum benefits to the areas that need it most.


Mr Burke said decisions on environmental watering will be made throughout the year depending on seasonal, operational and management conditions at the time.


"For some parts of the Basin river flows will be increased to mimic more natural flows to support the wetlands, riverbanks and floodplains,'' he said.


"In some cases, the decision will be made not to provide water to sites if they require a natural drying phase."


Water will also be pumped to high priority wetland sites to support salinity management to benefit native fish.


Increase flows are planned for the Lower Lakes in South Australia to enable continuous barrage outflows throughout the year to support the transportation and export of salt and nutrients through the Murray Mouth.


These barrage outflows will also provide additional inflows to the Ramsar listed Coorong to support the required salinity and seasonal water levels for native plants particularly over summer.


Sites to be targeted also include: the Gwydir Wetlands, Macquarie Marshes and North Redbank wetlands in NSW; Gunbower Forest in Victoria; and Banrock Station Wetland in South Australia.


Flows will also be considered in the north to the south of the Basin for many of its rivers such as the Macintyre, Namoi, Macquarie, Lachlan, and Murrumbidgee.