The Upper Murrumbidgee River is a high value riverine ecosystem containing the critical aquatic habitats of several nationally listed threatened species (notably Trout cod, Murray cod and Macquarie perch). The Murrumbidgee and it’s tributaries are also the primary source of water for the city of Canberra and the local region.

At the larger scale, the Murrumbidgee itself supplies irrigation and other water to rural towns and farms (rice, fruit and vegetables), and provides tourism and recreation income. The health of the river upstream is important to all downstream users as it will determine the amount and quality of water available for consumption, and availability of the river for recreational and other use.