Freshening flows for river

September 13, 2017

Enviornmental flow will mimic natural flow conditions for this time of year.

An environmental flow along the Goulburn River, between Goulburn Weir and Murray River, will start flowing on Saturday.

‘‘Much of the rain and run-off into the Goulburn River is now captured in the dams and used to supply towns, industry and farms, the amount of water flowing down the river in spring has reduced,’’ Goulburn Broken CMA environmental water manager Simon Casanelia said.

‘‘It also means the river flows higher and faster in the hotter months of the year when communities require more water, which is the opposite of what would happen if there were no dams and weirs.’’

Mr Casanelia said the changes had affected the health and survival of native plants and animals.

He said the flows would be a helping hand, delivering water to mimic more natural flow conditions for the time of the year.

Water for the increased flow, peaking at 8500 megalitres a day, will be released from Goulburn Weir on Saturday.

The increased flows will take about four days to reach McCoys bridge, near the Murray River, and will be well below minor flood levels.

The river will gradually rise to about 4m at Murchison, 5.3m at Shepparton and 5m at McCoys bridge, before slowly returning to current levels by mid-October.

Mr Casanelia said the environmental flow would help bank-stabilising plant growth on the lower banks of the lower Goulburn River and improve water quality and provide food and shelter for waterbugs and native fish.

He said irrigators would also appreciate improved water quality, while people out enjoying activities on and by the water will benefit too.

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