Talks held for review

November 15, 2017

GMW Senior Hydrogeologist Brendan Cossens hosts a public meeting regarding groundwater management rules in the Loddon catchment.

A series of meetings have been held in the Loddon catchment as Goulburn-Murray Water continues to review how groundwater is managed in the region.

Three public meetings were held in October in Serpentine, Baringhup and Newlyn, with Mid-Loddon Groundwater Local Management Rules and Loddon Highlands Water Supply Protection Area Groundwater Management Plan top of the discussion points.

G-MW customer operations general manager Scott Barber said groundwater resources in the Loddon catchment provided an important source of water for domestic and stock use, irrigation, commercial and industrial use, and urban supply with more than 280 groundwater licence holders authorised to take more than 55Gl a year.

Groundwater flows through the Deep Leads systems from Creswick to Kerang, and G-MW groundwater and streams manager Matthew Pethybridge said by reviewing both plans at the same time it would ensure water management could be considered at a catchment scale.

‘‘Overwhelmingly community feedback was that the plans have been very successful, noting the benefits of a capped resource, trading and carryover opportunities,’’ he said.

‘‘The community were also able to identify opportunities for improvement at the public meeting.’’

Groundwater licence holders in the south of the catchment around Newlyn, 25km north of Ballarat, have been subject to water restrictions for the past three years.

‘‘There were some questions regarding the trigger levels, which we’re taking into consideration as part of our review,’’ Mr Pethybridge said.

Discussions in the north of the catchment centred around new groundwater licence applications outside of existing management plan areas, with licensing processes discussed.

‘‘Input from the community is highly valued. G-MW will complete the review of the current management plans in coming months and the outcomes will be used to inform future management of the resource,’’ Mr Barber said.

■To comment on the review, phone G-MW senior hydrogeologist Brendan Cossens on 5475 3907.

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