Valley

Salt Disposal Re-activated

Wednesday 7 November, 2012
Winter salt disposal from Public Groundwater Pumps in the Shepparton Irrigation Region has recently been completed. This is the first time in over a decade that winter salt disposal has occurred.

Winter salt disposal from Public Groundwater Pumps in the Shepparton Irrigation Region has recently been completed. This is the first time in over a decade that winter salt disposal has occurred.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority's (CMA) Manager of Sustainable Irrigation, Carl Walters, said operation of the pumps in winter is a key aspect of managing salinity risk to irrigated land in the Shepparton Irrigation Region.

"Salt disposal from the region's public groundwater pumps to the Murray River is in accordance with strict guidelines to ensure no adverse downstream impacts" Mr Walters said.

"The long drought prevented pumping for salt disposal from occurring because river flows were below disposal trigger levels. Fortunately the drought also reduced the need for pumping by lowering the watertable" Mr Walters said.

Mr Walters said the need to re-activate the groundwater pumping highlights re-emergence of the salinity risk to productive agriculture and the importance of drainage to ensure irrigation in the Shepparton Region is sustainable.

"The Goulburn Broken CMA is keen to raise awareness of the re-emergence of salinity risk and has reinstalled watertable watch flags at key locations across the region" Mr Walters said.

Mr Walters said the watertable watch flags were widespread pre-drought and were very effective at highlighting salinity and drainage issues.

Anyone wanting to know more about salinity and drainage can contact their local Landcare Group or the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority in Shepparton on (03) 5820 1100 or reception@gbcma.vic.gov.au

 Craig Rath from DPI with the Water Table Watch flag that

was recently installed at Merrigum

Photo: Goulburn Broken CMA