Yatco Wetland - Riverland, South Australia

Combining sustainable irrigation - water savings - wetland health

Where is Yatco wetland?
About the Landcare group
Timelines - our history
Reflections - landholder and other perspectives
Wetland Management Plan
Technical Reports
Monitoring and photopoints
Schools and community involvement
Enjoying Yatco wetland
Indigenous connections
Contacting us


Bulletin board


The next monitoring event will be held...


Next meeting of the Landcare group is scheduled for...





Yatco Wetland lies on the floodplain of the River Murray with its major connection to the river being adjacent to the township of Moorook in the Riverland of South Australia.  The wetland system comprises two lagoons connected through a narrow human-made causeway.  The approximate total area of the two lagoons is 346 hectares.  


With the construction of Lock and Weir 3 in 1925 the site became permanently inundated.  This shift from natural patterns of wetting and drying to permanent inundation, while allowing irrigation and domestic water supplies to be sourced from the wetland, contributed to a gradual decline in water quality in the system and the health of fringing trees and other vegetation in some parts of the system 


In response to these concerns, the Yatco Wetland Landcare Group was formed in late December 2006.  The group took the initiative (with assistance from several individuals and organisations) in developing a Wetland Management Plan, and pursuing several related activities needed in order to allow for the re-introduction of more natural patterns of water level variation at the site. These same measures will result in significant water savings for the River Murray and also offer better quality irrigation and domestic water to the surrounding landholders.


This site tells the story of the history of this site and how today the Landcare group continues in its effort to achieve a win-win outcome. 


As noted in the Management Plan...


"through reintroducing drying phases to the wetland, this would not only help reinvigorate the ecology of the system but it would also generate water savings that could be provided to the River Murray, thus contributing to the recovery of the overall health of this ‘parent’ waterbody which is so vital for seeing a broader range of biodiversity re-colonise Yatco wetland. The opportunity exists here for a significant win-win outcome."


And...."The significant other product from these re-arrangements is the water savings (for the benefit of the River Murray’s health) that come from reduced evaporative losses across the wetland during its dry times, and in the former open irrigation channel."


Yatco wetland - March 2009 in drying phase (Photo - C. Nickolai, DEWNR).


Yatco wetland - February 2011 after refilling (Photo - C. Nickolai, DEWNR).





The documentation of information for, and development of this web site, was funded by the Caring for our Country program of the Australian Government.