Yarrawonga Chronicle

$3m for Barmah Choke Feasibilit­y Study

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Ms Ley said the study is in direct response to the very real concern being expressed by Murray river communitie­s about environmen­tal riverbank degradatio­n through the mid Murray’s three key flow constricti­on points (the Tocumwal, Barmah and Edward Chokes).

“I was pleased to be able to bring Water Minister Keith Pitt to inspect the Barmah Choke in March of this year, where he heard first-hand the local views on who needs water above and below the Choke, and how it should be delivered,” Ms Ley said.

“The reality is variable water storage levels from a changing climate, mixed with a hotchpotch of state-based water delivery rules is putting more and more pressure on his part of the river, a situation exacerbate­d by a 20% reduction in channel capacity.

“For the first time we are going to fully explore realistic options to optimise the capacity of Barmah Choke, to look at alternate delivery routes and hopefully start to address riverbank erosion that is clearly unsustaina­ble.

“Importantl­y, the study will not alter current water trading rules which assist in maintainin­g water reliabilit­y and security upstream of the Choke,” Ms Ley said.

The Feasibilit­y Study has been commission­ed at the request of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministeria­l Council*, and it will include consultati­on with river users to understand their insight on viable options.

The study, expected to be completed in late 2022, will also provide advice to Basin government­s on the options to improve current water delivery capacity as part of broader policy considerat­ions for the River Murray.

*https://www.mdba.gov.au/media/mr/ murray-darling-basin-ministeria­l-council19-june-2020

Farrer MP Sussan Ley has welcomed a $3m commitment from the Federal Government to fully fund a feasibilit­y study into ways to take pressure off the Barmah Choke, to support future system capacity and reduce the risk of shortfalls in water delivery.

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