Rivers and wetlands
South Australia is the driest state in the driest continent. It is not surprising that many of our rivers and wetlands are dry for much of the year, and those that do hold water permanently or for long periods are highly valued and prized assets from a social, environmental and economic perspective.
The River Murray is often described as the 'lifeblood' of our state. The wetlands of the Coorong, and Lakes Albert and Alexandrina are internationally recognised for their diverse ecosystems and are listed under the Ramsar Convention. DEWNR is playing a major role in managing the impact of the drought and drought recovery of this significant Ramsar site through the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth project.
DEWNR is the major landholder and/or manager for three (of the remaining four) SA Ramsar wetlands of international significance - Bool and Hacks Lagoons, Riverland and Coongie Lakes. The other Ramsar site is Banrock Station Wetland Complex held completely in private ownership.
Wetlands are one of our most important natural assets. South Australia has already lost 70% of its wetlands, therefore the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of the remaining wetlands is a key natural resource management issue across the state.