Valley

Extreme weather ceases flow in Broken River

Friday 23 January, 2009
The Goulburn Broken CMA is notifying the community that the Broken River has temporarily ceased to flow downstream of the Orrvale gauge which will soon be rectified.
The Goulburn Broken CMA is notifying the community that the Broken River has temporarily ceased to flow downstream of the Orrvale gauge which will soon be rectified.

CEO of the GB CMA Bill O'Kane said the cease to flow was not desirable and the CMA is urgently working with Goulburn-Murray Water to return flows to the lower part of the Broken River as soon as possible.

"We are in an unprecedented drought with 0% irrigation allocations, very low inflows and very little water in storage. Flow rules have been suspended through the qualification of rights and there is no Environmental Water Reserve in Nillahcootie or Mokoan for the environment to call on."

Mr O'Kane said the agreed management objective was to maintain the lowest flows for the longest period of time.

"If the drought continues we estimate that minimum flows can be maintained until June if we husband the resource. The Broken River is on knife's edge because higher releases reduces the length of time minimum flows can be maintained."

Mr O'Kane said extreme temperatures had increased losses as well as the demand for water.

"On Tuesday flows at Casey's Weir were 50ML/day and 3ML/day at the Orrvale gauge. The CMA is monitoring the environmental impacts of the cease to flow on the Lower Broken River."

"The lack of water resource in the Broken Basin is unprecedented and the system is very finely balanced. The trade off between daily flow rates and duration of flow rates is a challenge to manage and needed the co-operation of all people who extract water from the Broken River," Mr O'Kane concluded.

Graeme Hannan, Manager Water Resources at Goulburn-Murray Water confirmed that flows have been maintained along the entire length of the Broken River from Nillahcootie to at least as far as the flow monitoring gauge at Orrvale.

"The water travel time on the Broken River from Casey's Weir, near Benalla, will take several days and the water demand conditions and river losses can vary over this time which adds to the difficulty of getting the release into the top end of this lowest reach of the Broken River exactly correct."

Release Ends

For more information please contact:

Bill O'Kane at GB CMA on 5820 1100
Stacey Brauman at Impress Publicity on 0400 644 637