In the early 1800s, the River Murray and its surrounding areas would experience natural varying water levels within the system. It provided the creeks, wetlands and floodplains a consistent cycle of wetting and drying, which is good for the environment’s sustainability into the future. Over time, the health of the River Murray and its connecting landscapes have been declining due to many years of river regulation, a lack of natural flooding, over-grazing and extreme dry conditions.

Locks and weirs were introduced along the River Murray to ensure there was an appropriate amount of water available for drinking, agriculture, and navigation. This has had a direct impact on the environment, and over the years has caused the wetlands and floodplains to suffer and decline in health. To help improve the health of the River Murray and its surrounding wetlands and floodplains, a series of environmental regulators have been built throughout the system. The regulators are designed to be opened and closed like a gate and can be used to raise and lower water levels by closing off water access or allowing more water to pass through. Some of these structures have been designed to enable fish passage for large, medium and small-bodied native fish.