Waranga Basin filled ahead of schedule

By Rodney Woods

Recent rainfall across the Goulburn catchment has allowed Goulburn-Murray Water to fill Waranga Basin ahead of schedule.

G-MW diverted additional water into the off-stream storage during April and early May as rainfall lowered irrigation demand and increased river flows.

G-MW water resources manager Mark Bailey said the water would now be held in storage at Waranga Basin until the next irrigation season begins on August 15.

“This is exactly what we like to see at this time of year, bringing benefits that are two-fold,” Dr Bailey said.

“It fuels confidence that we have water available for improved seasonal determinations in the Goulburn system when the season opens, with a good likelihood longer term determinations will exceed initial forecasting.

“It also means more water will reach the Murray system, which becomes a Victorian resource under the MDBA accounting rules.”

But Dr Bailey cautioned recreational river users that water levels could rapidly rise and currents could be strong, presenting a danger for those visiting the area.

“We are getting strong flows downstream of the Goulburn Weir through Murchison and into Shepparton from all the tributaries below Lake Eildon, such as the Acheron and Rubicon rivers as well as the Hughes and Sunday creeks,” he said.

“Anyone camping or fishing or planning a school holiday visit should be aware of this potential danger.”