The Weekly Advertiser Horsham
Hope for lake top-up plan
ifetime Green Lake resident Glenn Mibus is among advocates hoping for revamped watersharing arrangements that can lead to regularly maintaining recreation levels in the popular lake.
Mr Mibus described water flowing in the inlet creek through his property into the lake southeast of Horsham as fantastic and ‘a long time waiting’ and agreed watching the flow was cathartic.
“It’s been a bit of a process but we finally got it. The local community has been pushing for this for ages,” he said.
“Now we want to try to get some long-term arrangements in place where we can keep getting top-ups without long periods of negotiation.
“The lake is an icon for the region and should be treated that way.”
Green Lake, developed initially as a storage for regional water supply, no longer plays a regular role in supply scheduling and is now listed as a recreational lake and used for managing water quality. It only receives water from occasional natural flows, excess supply or through opportunities identified by bulk-entitlement holder and system manager Gwmwater.
Gwmwater, in a $60,000 deal with Horsham Rural City Council, is allocating 2500 megalitres to the lake this spring.
Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, in charge of environmental water assets in the region, has also confirmed it will direct more water to Green Lake from any spill that might occur from a filling Lake Wartook in the Grampians.
It hopes to use a rising level at Green Lake to push water further on to Boga Lakes neighbour Dock Lake, a noted environmental wetland.
Mr Mibus said Green Lake’s inlet creek had managed to flow ‘under its own steam’ for a couple of weeks earlier this year.
“Remarkably when we found out water was going to the lake we had a thunderstorm and it again ran briefly on its own,” he said.
The provision of recreational water across the region remains the subject of significant debate.
A business case that led to construction of the Wimmera-mallee Pipeline
included a need for recreation as well as stock and domestic and environmental supply. Findings of relatively recent studies into socio-economic value of recreation water estimate its value at about $30-million.
Apart from Green Lake near Horsham, Gwmwater’s board has committed to using the corporation’s own reserves to pipe a top-up 2690 megalitres to 14 recreational lakes and weir pools, mainly in the Mallee. The supply is the corporation’s fourth annual allocation in a row.
There is no specific recreational body represented independently among bulk-entitlement holders in
Wimmera-mallee water-sharing arrangements.
Piped water figures for lakes across the Wimmera-mallee are: Beulah Weir Pool 130 megalitres; Brim Weir Pool 110; Donald Caravan Park Lake 50; Donald Weir Pool 50; Green Lake, Sea Lake 400; Lake Lascelles, Hopetoun 250; Lake Marma, Murtoa 150; Ouyen Lake 280; Rainbow and Yaapeet lakes 100; Tchum Lake, Birchip 450; Walkers Lake, Avon Plains 300; Warracknabeal Weir Pool 150; Watchem Lake 160; and Wooroonook Lake 700.