Authorities continue to monitor Goulburn River water quality

Friday 8 December, 2017
A small amount of additional water is being released from Goulburn Weir over the next couple of days to improve water quality in the lower Goulburn River.

This release of 1,500ML/day will not cause any flooding issues in the Goulburn River and downstream.

Goulburn Broken CMA CEO Chris Norman said the CMA had been working with other agencies to monitor water quality in the Goulburn River after heavy rain washed leaf litter and debris into a number of creeks that flow into the river. 

“Between Friday December 1 and Sunday December 3 up to 200mm of rain fell across parts of the catchment,” Mr Norman said.

“This resulted in high inflows from Seven, Pranjip and Castle creeks into the lower Goulburn River. This debris-rich water, combined with the warm air and water temperatures we experienced recently, has caused the levels of oxygen in the water drop.

“Fortunately, the oxygen levels did not drop suddenly to the very low levels we saw earlier this year, which caused a blackwater event that led to fish deaths in a section of the Goulburn River near Shepparton. Oxygen levels have now steadied to acceptable levels. 

“But to be on the safe side, particularly as temperatures increase again over the next couple of days, we have been working with Goulburn-Murray Water, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office to get approval to use a mix of environmental and water quality flows to help maintain water oxygen levels. This will see flows from Goulburn Weir of 1,500 ML/d over the weekend which will then slowly step down to the normal base flow level of 800-900 ML/d by the end of December.”

Goulburn Broken CMA, Goulburn Valley Water’s Waterwatch team and partner agencies will continue to closely monitor water quality along the lower Goulburn River and its tributaries.

Flows in the lower Goulburn River peaked at 23,000 ML/d at Shepparton on December 5 and are currently around 9,500ML/day and falling. This is well below minor flood level.

This short You Tube clip provides more information about the causes and effects of blackwater:


The Goulburn Broken CMA acknowledges and respects First Nations people and the deep connection they have with their land and waters.

We acknowledge the Yorta Yorta and Taungurung people and their ancestors/forbears as Traditional Owners of the land and waters in the Goulburn Broken Catchment (and beyond). We value our ongoing partnerships with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Taungurung Land and Waters Council for the health of Country and its people.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge and recognise the primacy of Traditional Owners obligations, rights and responsibilities to use and care for their traditional lands and waters.

168 Welsford Street, PO Box 1752, Shepparton VIC 3630
T (03) 5822 7700
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89 Sydney Road, PO Box 124, Benalla VIC 3672
T (03) 5822 7700

Shop 5/10 High Street, Yea VIC 3717
T (03) 5822 7700

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