Environmental watering has been a major Government program in Victoria, particularly since the ‘Millennium drought’. The focus of this program has been to manage the water flow regime to help improve or maintain the health of rivers, floodplains and wetlands – and associated plants and animals.

A large proportion of this program has been directed at the northern regions of Victoria including the Mallee, North Central, and Goulburn Broken catchment management areas. Healthy rivers, floodplains and wetlands in these catchment areas provide a range of benefits that are important for society and the economic system both within these geographical (catchment management) areas and across the wider Victoria.

However, to date, the nature and extent of these socio-economic benefits have not been well understood by many stakeholder groups. To help improve this understanding, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) in collaboration with the Mallee Catchment Management Authority, North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA), Goulburn-Broken Catchment Management Authority and the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) have engaged Natural Capital
Economics (NCE) to describe and value these benefits in economic terms – to the extent possible based on existing data and information. This is intended to contribute to an increased awareness of benefits generated as well as to inform where future research effort is best allocated