Pipeline benefits for lake
Regional water managers have shored up Green Lake as a primary destination for central Wimmera recreational water enthusiasts this summer.
Gmwwater has confirmed the popular lake, on the Western Highway south-east of Horsham, will receive a top-up of water from its Grampians headworks system.
The corporation’s board agreed to provide 1000 megalitres from its ‘carryover water holding’ to maintain a level in the lake that would allow for water-skiiing and sailing as well as swimming and fishing.
Gwmwater chairman Peter Vogel said the board’s decision was strongly influenced by the release of a report, commissioned by Wimmera Development Association, which revealed the extent of socio-economic benefits of recreational water.
“The report found that recreational water contributes as much as $30-million a year to the economy of the Wimmera-mallee,” he said.
“Access to recreational water also provides positive social, health and mental health benefits to the community.
“Gwmwater is fortunate to be in the position of holding more than four years’ reserve in its water holdings from the Grampians headworks system based on current demands for water. The strength of our water holding has given us the confidence to make this decision.”
Mr Vogel said the recreation allocation would have been impossible in the past when a vast and wasteful open channel system, which lost water through evaporation and seepage, was operational.
“This release would not have been able to have been made without the region having reaped the significant benefits of the Wimmera-mallee Pipeline,” he said.
Mr Vogel said Gwmwater’s decision to top up Green Lake took advantage of a full channel running between Rocklands Reservoir and Taylors Lake. Water is diverted from the channel to Green Lake.
Horsham municipal leaders have long understood the value of recreational water in the region, be it at the Boga Lakes, of which Green Lake is a part, Natimuk Lake, which is dry and not connected to a supply network, Toolondo Reservoir, which is receiving water to maintain recreational angling opportunities and the Wimmera River.
Horsham Rural City Council will pay a standard recreational water tariff of $21 a megalitre, the same price other councils and management committees pay to top up 12 recreational lakes and weir pools supplied by the Wimmera-mallee Pipeline.
Horsham mayor Pam Clarke said the council would work with Gwmwater as supply arrangements for recreational water across the region underwent review, with a view to securing a more permanent supply for Green Lake.
“We are acutely aware of the benefits of recreational water to the health and wellbeing of the community as well as the economic benefits,” she said.
Gwmwater provides recreation water to Warracknabeal, Beulah and Brim weir pools; Donald Caravan Park Lake; Green Lake at Sea Lake; Lake Lascelles, Hopetoun; Lake Marma, Murtoa; Tchum Lake, Birchip; Walkers Lake, Avon Plains; Watchem Lake; and Wooroonook Lake. Organisers preparing for a Big Sky Festival at Rainbow on Saturday have urged patrons planning to attend the event to bring cash to buy food, drinks and market products.
There is no automatic teller machine at Rainbow and many of the stalls will have cash-only arrangements.
The festival will mark the culmination of the State Government’s Small Town Transformations project, which has led to a new desert garden, refurbished former school and the attraction of international dancers and performers.
The free event features workshops from 2pm, a market from 4pm and live music headlined by Sal Kimber and the Rollin Wheel.
Regional band The Lazy Farmer’s Sons is also part of the line-up.