Submission critical of basin flow monitoring
The Victorian Environmental Water Holder must be transparently accountable with all decision making and reporting on environmental flows and must be answerable to the consequences of those decisions according to Jan Beer and Ken Pattison, who have made a joint submission to the committee.
Mrs Beer and Mr Pattison said there were not enough monitoring systems to manage flows.
‘‘Millions of dollars have been spent on recovering environmental water through socalled ‘water-saving’ projects or Commonwealth buy-back, but there simply are not the operating tools in place and real-time monitoring systems to manage flows in the precise manner that is required or should be expected in light of the massive expenditure involved of public monies,’’ the submission said.
‘‘Even after nearly five years of the start of the MurrayDarling Basin Plan, there are still no real-time monitoring telemetry gauges on many of the tributaries, for example over 50 per cent of the Yea River Catchment is ungauged, nor are critical points on the upstream Goulburn Catchment gauged.
‘‘Real-time monitoring is so badly lacking, that management of flows at best must be simply guesswork.
‘‘It is simply impossible to account for return flows with any accuracy with the tools currently available, and the VEWH must be asked to explain in explicit detail how these above figures have been calculated, as in my opinion they are nothing but a ‘guesstimate’.’’