Pipe­line ben­e­fits for lake

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

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.

Valu­able as­set

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.

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