Turtle

Muckatah Depression Drain – New stage launched

Tuesday 18 October, 2005
The $2.7million Stage Three of the Muckatah Surface Water Management System was launched today. It is part of a drainage system that will serve the entire Muckatah Catchment taking in about 60,000 ha north east of Numurkah.

The $2.7million Stage Three of the Muckatah Surface Water Management System was launched today. It is part of a drainage system that will serve the entire Muckatah Catchment taking in about 60,000 ha north east of Numurkah.

Stage Three is 13.3 km long, services 1290 ha of land and has an outfall capacity of 195 megalitres a day. It provides outfall for seven Community Surface Water Management Systems (CSWMS) and features eight road crossings, nine occupation crossings, seven subways, 58 drainage inlets, seven diversion pits and 44 overflow sills allowing natural flows to follow the depression.

Drain Three has also been completed at a cost of $824,000. Drain Three is 3.7 km long, servicing four landholders directly and 3250 ha of land. It has a capacity at outfall of 50 megalitres a day and discharges to Stage Two of the Muckatah Main Drain (north of Naring Hall Road). The drain has taken about 12 months to construct.

It features 28 structures including two road crossings, seven inlets, three subways, four syphons, five occupation crossings and a structure to help control water levels in a wetland at the top of the drain.

GBCMA chair Stephen Mills said the drainage works enabled the removal of excess rainfall runoff from irrigated lands, provided an outfall for groundwater pumps and the opportunity to preserve or enhance wetlands and native vegetation.

The Muckatah Depression Drain is part of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s (GBCMA) Regional Catchment Strategy and the works have been undertaken by Goulburn-Murray Water on behalf of the GBCMA Shepparton Irrigation Region Implementation Committee.

The Muckatah catchment is situated between the Murray and Ovens Rivers and the Broken and Boosey Creeks. The catchment includes an area of 280 km2 within the Murray Valley Irrigation Area. The balance of the catchment is generally dryland agriculture, although there is some private irrigation development.

The outfall for this extensive catchment is to the Broken Creek upstream of Numurkah. The Muckatah Depression Drains have been designed to slow and reduce outfalls to the Broken Creek.

Mr Mills said Drain Three has been designed to provide an appropriate watering regime for a wetland at its upper end. Fencing was built as part of the drain project after agreements were made with the neighbouring landholders. The fencing allows stock to be managed to the maximum benefit of the wetland.

“When finished the Muckatah primary drains will be about 63 km long, and incorporate many best practice environmental features,” Mr Mills said.

“The total cost for the construction of the primary drains in the Muckatah Catchment is about $14 million, while hundreds of thousands of dollars are also being spent on complementary projects such as whole farm plans, environmental grants and the CSWMS.”

This $14 million compliments landowner contributions that will total about $7 million by the time the project is completed in 10-15 years time. Additional money will also be spent by landowners on improvements to irrigation systems on their own properties.

Construction of Muckatah Drain Three and the Muckatah Main Drain – Stage Three was funded by the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality which is a joint Victorian State and Australian Government initiative

The Muckatah project has required a highly collaborative approach from natural resource managers, including landowners, Department of Primary Industries, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Parks Victoria, Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and Moira Shire. Several private consultants have been directly involved with these latest sections of drain.

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For more information phone Lisa McKenzie or Anna Humphris 5821 2651 or email anna@impresspublicity.com.au