Water

September environmental flows to restore Goulburn River bank health

By Rodney Woods

“This year’s environmental flows are more important than ever for restoring river bank health,” Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority chief executive officer Chris Norman said.

“Vegetation provides valuable habitat for native fish, water bugs and other wildlife to feed, breed and shelter, which will be particularly important with forecasts of another warm, dry year.

“Encouraging plant growth will also go some way towards reducing the impact of the past two years of high flows in summer by helping stabilise the banks.”

Water for the environment has been released from Goulburn Weir since September 17.

The releases will gradually increase to about 8000Ml/day by September 26 and then reduce back to current levels (about 900Ml/day) by October 19.

The CMA advised the flows were below minor flood level and would be similar to the flows that would have occurred at this time of the year before dams, weirs and channels were built.

The environmental flow has been designed so it recedes slowly, which is better for the river’s banks.

If there is heavy rain, the flow may be reduced.

Mr Norman also welcomed Water Minister Lisa Neville’s recent commitment to variable summer flows in the Goulburn for the 2019-20 irrigation season.