Irrigators happy with rain

August 09, 2017

Lake Eildon received 17mm of rain over the past week.

Recent wet weather in Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley has been welcomed by irrigators after a mostly dry winter.

During the weekend the Bureau of Meteorology reported widespread rainfall across the North Central and North East regions, with good inflows to a number of Goulburn-Murray Water storages.

G-MW Shepparton customer service manager David Irvine said during the past week the area had received more than 30mm of rain. Lake Eildon received 17mm in the same period, Lake Dartmouth 26mm, Lake William Hovell 32mm and Lake Buffalo 37mm.

Water resources manager Mark Bailey said while it was too early to say what the rainfall would mean long-term for farmers, it was a positive sign ahead of the new irrigation season which opens next Tuesday, August 15.

‘‘Lake Eildon, Nillahcootie, Buffalo and William Hovell all saw inflows pick up considerably. Lake Eppalock and the Loddon storages did reasonably well,’’ Mr Bailey said.

Kyabram customer service manager Greg Shannon said in his area the rainfall had been welcomed and meant some farmers would not be looking to irrigate immediately as of August 15.

‘‘There will be some customers who will still require a stock and domestic supply however this rain means some will hold off with irrigation until early September.

‘‘It depends how much rain we get this week, there are a few more showers forecast here and there. But there is moisture in the ground, which is a good thing.’’

Rochester customer service manager Paul Cox agreed, and said the rain was helping to relieve pressure ahead of the new season.

‘‘It was looking like farmers were going to have to get straight into irrigating as soon as the season opened but the recent rain may take some of this pressure off and allow farmers to irrigate later, saving water for when it’s needed most,’’ he said.

‘‘It really is too early to tell how much difference the rain will make but it’s definitely good news.’’

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