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Wimmera CMA

Street Address:
24 Darlot Street, Horsham, 3400
(enter via Gleed St)

Postal Address:
PO Box 479, Horsham, VIC, 3402
Phone: (03) 5382 1544
Fax: (03) 5382 6076
Email: wcma@wcma.vic.gov.au
 
Office Hours:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 - 5:00pm
(excluding Public Holidays and Christmas - New Year Closure.  Office may also be closed for short periods Monday mornings)

Article

Water for the Environment update 2021 Winter: plenty of promise

Aug 19, 2021


 
WimmeraRiverJune2021-BEFORE-360x253Concongella Creek June 2021
 
WimmeraRiverJuly2021-AFTER-360x253Concongella Creek July 2021
Over the past few weeks, all eyes have been on natural flows in the Wimmera River as they passed through Horsham, Dimboola and Jeparit into Lake Hindmarsh, improving water quality and delivering optimism for the summer ahead.  

Q&A

 Is this natural flow improving water quality?

High flows pick up sediments from eroding gullies, dirt roads and bare earth, making the river look murkier than what people expect. Water quality is much improved though; salinity levels dropped by over 10,000 µS/cm at Tarranyurk when the flow front arrived. A month earlier salinity levels were almost a third of seawater.

What’s the difference between environmental and natural flows?

Natural flows are generated by runoff in the catchment after rain, and cannot flow into storages at higher elevations than where they are diverted from. For example, Wimmera River flows cannot enter Green Lake or Lake Toolondo due to the differences in elevation. Environmental flows are released from water storages, mostly when natural flows are not occurring.

Why does Wimmera CMA release environmental water into the Wimmera River?

The Wimmera River has unique and highly valued natural features and supports many plants and animals. Without environmental flows, long periods of hot, dry weather cause pools to dry out or become super salty. A healthy river also supports recreational values such as fishing, enjoying a picnic, walking, bike riding, running or relaxing while watching the sun rise and set.

Does Wimmera CMA try to fill Lake Hindmarsh with environmental flows?

No. Natural flows from floods are required for it to fill.

Does Wimmera CMA provide an environmental flow to Yarriambiack Creek?

No. But since completion of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline, a much higher proportion of natural flows resulting from high rainfall continue down the Wimmera River instead of being diverted into Taylors or Pine Lake and some go into Yarriambiack Creek. During times of large, continuous natural flows, water goes further up the creek, helping maintain its environmental condition. A proportion of environmental flows in the Wimmera River go into the Yarriambiack, but these flows are quite small and don’t flow far up the creek.

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to phone (03) 5382 1544 or send an email to wcma@wcma.vic.gov.au

 

WINTER FLOWS The focus is on providing water via the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline to several small wetlands in the northern Wimmera. As the pipeline can only supply small volumes, the objective is to fill low points in these wetlands to support habitat for fauna such as ducks, grebes and turtles throughout the year.

WCMA_Winter 21 Update-01