Re­serves help­ing wa­ter flow

Benalla Ensign - - Communityvoice -

The reg­u­lated rivers, catch­ments and stor­ages man­aged by Vic­to­ria’s largest ru­ral wa­ter au­thor­ity are show­ing their re­silience to the dry con­di­tions grip­ping other parts of Aus­tralia.

Goul­burn-Mur­ray Wa­ter (G-MW) man­ages about 70 per cent of Vic­to­ria’s stored wa­ter re­sources, in­clud­ing the Bro­ken River, which runs through Be­nalla, and is the coun­try’s largest ir­ri­gation de­liv­ery net­work.

Like much of the prime pro­duc­tion re­gions of east­ern Aus­tralia, it is fac­ing a dry out­look for the re­main­der of spring and early sum­mer.

G-MW in­terim man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Bill Ja­boor said the wa­ter re­serves es­tab­lished dur­ing the past few sea­sons had con­trib­uted to wa­ter se­cu­rity for all en­ti­tle- ment hold­ers, in­clud­ing those in the Goul­burn Mur­ray Ir­ri­gation Dis­trict.

‘‘Our as­tute cus­tomers, pri­mar­ily made up of the farm­ers who pro­vide food and fi­bre for us all, are in­creas­ingly tak­ing ad­van­tage of sea­sonal car­ry­over and other wa­ter man­age­ment op­tions to make the most of the re­gion’s most pre­cious re­source,’’ Mr Ja­boor said.

‘‘With the vol­ume of wa­ter avail­able to use this sea­son, G-MW is cur­rently well placed to meet the de­mands of our en­ti­tle­ment hold­ers as they arise.’’

The dry con­di­tions have seen a high and steady de­mand for wa­ter since the grav­ity ir­ri­gation sea­son opened on Au­gust 15.

‘‘Ir­ri­ga­tors re­alise the ben­e­fits of early sea­son wa­ter­ing to set up their an­nual pro­duc­tion and the com­bi­na­tion of wa­ter re­serves, car­ry­over and ac­cess to the wa­ter mar­ket has en­abled this,’’ Mr Ja­boor said.

He said it was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber the sea­sonal out­look favoured drier-than-nor­mal con­di­tions and in­ter­state drought dec­la­ra­tions just north of the River Mur­ray and be­yond were im­pact­ing on the price of wa­ter.

‘‘The North­ern Vic­to­ria Re­source Man­ager re­ported on Oc­to­ber 15 that Vic­to­ria has ex­pe­ri­enced the sec­ond-dri­est Septem­ber since records be­gan and the cli­mate out­look sug­gests the dry con­di­tions will con­tinue,’’ Mr Ja­boor said.

‘‘We are also acutely aware drought con­di­tions in other parts of the coun­try — where there has been no rain of any sig­nif­i­cance for some time — have been im­pact­ing heav­ily on many pro­duc­ers.

‘‘We en­cour­age sup­port those do­ing it tough.’’

Mr Ja­boor said per­spec­tive, how­ever, was im­por­tant.

‘‘G-MW is work­ing with new in­vestors who recog­nise the ad­van­tages of­fered in op­er­at­ing in the Goul­burn Mur­ray Ir­ri­gation Dis­trict and are keen to ex­pand their agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties,’’ he said.

‘‘We also re­main grate­ful for how our stored wa­ter sup­plies have held up and re­main com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing this pre­cious re­source as ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble in the com­ing months.’’

With the vol­ume of wa­ter avail­able to use this sea­son, G-MW is cur­rently well placed to meet the de­mands of our en­ti­tle­ment hold­ers as they arise.

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