GMW opens ir­ri­ga­tion sea­son

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - LIVESTOCK -

GOUL­BURN-Mur­ray Wa­ter (GMW) have opened their new ir­ri­ga­tion sea­son, as of last month.

Buoyed by rain­fall in the North East, GMW were hope­ful the ad­di­tional rain would help ease pres­sure on ir­ri­ga­tors fol­low­ing a mostly dry win­ter.

GMW wa­ter re­sources man­ager, Mark Bai­ley, said while it was too early to say what the rain­fall would mean long-term for farm­ers, it was a pos­i­tive sign.

“Lake Eil­don, Nil­lah­cootie, Buffalo and Wil­liam Hovell all saw in­flows pick up con­sid­er­ably (be­cause of the late Au­gust rain),” he said.

“Lake Ep­palock and the Lod­don stor­ages did rea­son­ably well.”

Kyabram cus­tomer service man­ager, Greg Shan­non, said in his area the rain­fall had been wel­comed and meant some farm­ers wouldn’t be look­ing to ir­ri­gate im­me­di­ately when the sea­son opened.

“There will be some cus­tomers who will still re­quire a stock and do­mes­tic sup­ply, how­ever, this rain means some will hold off with ir­ri­ga­tion un­til Septem­ber.

“It de­pends how much rain we get, there are a few more show­ers fore­cast here and there - but there is mois­ture in the ground which is a good thing.”

Rochester cus­tomer service man­ager, Paul Cox, agreed – say­ing the rain was help­ing to re­lieve pres­sure at the start of the ir­ri­ga­tion sea­son.

“It was look­ing like farm­ers were go­ing to have to get straight into ir­ri­gat­ing as soon as the sea­son opened, but the re­cent rain may take some of this pres­sure off and al­low farm­ers to ir­ri­gate later, sav­ing wa­ter for when it’s needed most,” he said.

GMW Strate­gic Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee mem­ber and Kiewa, Mitta Mitta and Up­per Mur­ray Wa­ter Ser­vices Com­mit­tee chair, Peter Ser­pell, said the Au­gust rain was wel­come in the North East.

“Given that we had one of our dri­est Junes in 50 years, and that July was also be­low av­er­age, the rain is cer­tainly wel­come,” he said.

“We were say­ing only a few days ago that we were un­sure what the com­ing sea­son would bring.

“This rain will top up the stream flows and es­pe­cially with the amount of snow – this will mean a brighter ir­ri­ga­tion sea­son.”

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