Current water releases for the environment

Water for the environment

Due to extended dry conditions, typical environmental flows (autumn freshes) won’t be delivered this season. Instead, low flows sufficient to maintain fish passage, water quality and pool and riffle habitats will be delivered to keep the rivers alive during these times.

An approach for the current conditions

The current drought conditions have resulted in low inflows into our water storages at Blue Rock, Thomson Dam and Lake Glenmaggie, with inflows sometimes ceasing altogether. Because of these low flows, there haven’t been any natural cues for spawning or migration of fish species in these rivers, so providing higher flows is of limited benefit under these conditions.

Our revised approach this season, supported by best available science and advice from river health experts, will be to provide water for the environment to maintain low flows in each river system to protect aquatic plants and animals.

These low flows will allow instream vegetation to remain wetted, allow water bugs to move around their habitats, and maintain the water quality. They will also give the lower Latrobe wetlands a chance to be filled slowly with fresh water.

Delivering autumn freshes in 2020 will be a top priority to support spawning of grayling, tupong and other species.

What will I notice?

Changes in river heights will be barely noticeable during these flows.

The start and end dates, expected flow rates, and estimated river heights for the water release are listed below:

Thomson River
Start and end dates of water release: 1 May to 30 June
Highest flow expected: 230 megalitres per day
Estimated water level in river during highest flow: 0.3m at Thomson River at Coopers Creek

Macalister River
Start and end dates of water release: 28 March to 30 June
Highest flow expected: 35-90 megalitres per day
Estimated water level in river during highest flow: 0.4m Macalister River below Lake Glenmaggie

Please note these dates and flow rates may change due to natural events or operational issues.

These are estimates and may change slightly depending on inflows and orders from entitlement holders, and due to natural losses in these rivers and travel time of the water release. This is particularly the case for the lower sections of these rivers.

There will be no impact on the security of water supply of access to irrigation water. The water release will be well below minor flood levels and will not impact on properties or assets next to these rivers.

If you would like to receive notifications of future water releases for the environment please complete this form.

Heart Morass April 2019
Heart Morass April 2019

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