Waterway

Goulburn River flows to increase in March

Monday 17 March, 2014
An autumn fresh (increased flow) along the Goulburn River during late March and early April will water vegetation on the lower river bank and maintain habitat for in-stream plants, bugs and fish.

An autumn fresh (increased flow) along the Goulburn River during late March and early April will water vegetation on the lower river bank and maintain habitat for in-stream plants, bugs and fish.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Environmental Water Flow Coordinator Geoff Earl said after losing all the bank vegetation after the 2010-12 floods, some vegetation more tolerant of fluctuating water levels was starting to re-appear on the river banks.

“The fresh is aimed at giving some of that vegetation a watering, as well as disturbing fine sediment that settles on the bed and on logs that reduces habitat for plants, bugs and fish,” Mr Earl said.

“Flows from Goulburn Weir will increase to 3,000 ML/day by March 20, with flows peaking at up to 4,500 ML/day about March 22. This means flows should be above 3,000 ML/day between about March 21 and March 26. Flows will return to minimum flows of about 1,000 ML/day by April 8.

“These autumn flows are lower than the November and December 2013 freshes, which peaked at about 7,000 ML/day.”

Mr Earl said the flows would take about four days to reach McCoys Bridge on the Murray Valley Highway and levels and timing could vary depending on prevailing weather conditions.

Environmental flows are planned by the Goulburn Broken CMA, in partnership with Goulburn-Murray Water, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH).  The flows also take into consideration delivery orders by irrigators and other water users.

Monitoring, funded by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, is being undertaken to understand the outcomes from environmental flows.

The environmental release is being made in line with the VEWH’s Seasonal Watering Plan 2013-14, with water provided by the CEWH.

For further information about environmental water releases, please contact Geoff Earl on 03 5820 1100, visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au  or  www.g-mwater.com.au/managing-water-storages for  river flow forecasts.