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Rec lake & reservoir algae warnings

Check rec lake & reservoir algae warnings

Locals and tourists alike are set to enjoy thriving recreation lakes across the region this summer, after GWMWater committed to top up 16 lakes and weir pools with water from its own reserves.

At its September meeting, GWMWater’s Board committed to supply pipeline recreation lakes for the fourth consecutive year. The commitment was made due to confidence in the resource position with favourable inflows to Grampians storages during winter.

GWMWater was able to make the commitment based on its water resource holdings in both the Grampians and Northern River systems relative to demands on the system.

In addition to securing supply for pipeline-supplied recreation lakes, GWMWater has offered a 2,500 ML recreation supply to top-up Horsham’s Green Lake, funded by Horsham Rural City Council. The transfer will be completed by mid-November.

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 Horsham Rural City Mayor Robyn Gulline said a full Green Lake was great for the municipality.

“Besides its enormous recreational benefits to the community, it will also enhance business and tourism for the Wimmera,” she said.

GWMWater Managing Director Mark Williams said the water corporation Board recognised the importance of lakes and weir pools in the region.

Supply to these water bodies was an integral part of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline business case due to their recreational and environmental value. These benefits have been demonstrated in a five-year Street Ryan study which assessed the impact of recreation water in the region. Researchers determined the economic contribution of recreation water in the region to be about $30 million each year. 

Mr Williams said as well as being an environmental and recreational haven for locals, recreation lakes and weir pools were proving to be popular destinations for visitors to the region.

GWMWater has been working with Horsham Rural City Council to ensure the top-up for Green Lake would be sufficient to enable recreation access over summer. The larger volume of fresh water this year should help mitigate the risk of the emergence of blue-green algae.

Despite good winter rainfall, inflows to Grampians reservoirs are tracking at 68% of the historic average.

“We have been monitoring our water resource position closely to ensure that we have enough water to supply our urban and rural customers not just this year, but in the years ahead,” Mr Williams said. “Thanks to a relatively wet winter and even some good rainfall this week, we are thrilled to now be in a position to make a combined 5,780 megalitres available for recreational use.”

Storage Manager Kym Wilson said inflows were not sufficient to trigger a recreation allocation for pipeline supplied lakes this year, nor a supply to Green Lake under Storage Management Rules provisions.

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