The Boss's Dog

Where’s my sandbar?

By The General

I don't know what a Yo-Yo is myself but, whatever it is, it must go up and down.

The Boss reckons the river does that, just like a Yo-Yo.

After giving the river a couple of week's respite, the Murray Darling mob called for another 45 giglalitres down the Goulburn in February. This followed around 49GL running down the river in January, a similar amount in December and 30GL in November.

All this compares to the target of around 30GL that the Catchment Management Authority regards as the maximum monthly summer flow that is "safe" for the Goulburn. That is, November was in the "safe" category and subsequent months have done damage.

He says a thousand megalitres is a giglalitre - now I knew that, didn't I? - which means it takes 15 days to get 45GL down.

But stretching it out over 15 days is totally unnecessary, The Boss reckons.

He's heard it on good authority that Goulburn Murray Water can't run the river at more than 3000 megalitres a day because it affects the pumps owned by around 20 irrigators.

Now, a lot of lower Goulburn irrigators already have their pumps on rails and can get the pumps up and down easily. The Boss says it wouldn't be hard to get them all automated so GMW could send 6-8000ML down a day, getting the inter-valley flows out of the way in a week instead of two. That would be more like a winter flood, at least, and wouldn't keep the lower banks soaked all summer.

All it would need is for the MDBA to negotiate with a handful or irrigators and pay for whatever works are required. 

The Boss doesn't know a cocky who won't have his hand out when a government agency is going past - but he says it's not going to dent the MDBA's budget much.

Then all this damage to the Goulburn - caused by having constant and unseasonal high flows - could ease off.

It sounds fairly simple to me so I nod, as I usually do when he looks to me for wisdom.

But The Boss has a theory that the Murray Darling mob are more interested in getting a steady flow to the Murray and couldn't give a rats about the Goulburn. Whatever a rats is.

Anyway, my sandbar is under two metres of water again, like it is for all the picnickers and campers along the river.

According to the GMW website, the river flows will drop off over the next week but that's no good for me - it stays muddy for a week after that, the Missus goes crook if I poke my nose inside and leave a few paw prints around and, all in all, it's a pain for everybody.