The Board of Southern Rural Water toured the Macalister Irrigation District recently, with a focus on flood management and modernisation works.
They were joined by representatives from the Macalister Customer Consultative Committee.
Amongst the places the Board visited were the flood plains around Tinamba/Newry and the dam wall at Lake Glenmaggie, where staff explained how the dam is operated during floods.
“Glenmaggie only has limited capacity to affect flood management, because it is such a small storage in a large catchment,” said Manager Water Supply East Terry Clapham. “However, the storage can have an effect during minor and moderate floods.
“We are acutely aware of the economic impact floods can have on pastures and vegetable crops – our aim is always to reduce flood impacts as much as possible in balance with our responsibilities to manage the storage safely and retain water for irrigation.”
The tour also visited the nearby dairy farm of Hans Van Wees. Hans met the Board at his dairy shed and explained the impacts of flooding on local dairy farmers, and what the removal of channel banks as part of modernisation works might mean for local properties.
The Board took the opportunity to visit the site of the Southern Cowwarr Balancing Storage, currently under construction. The storage is part of the MID 2030 modernisation works for the district and will enable better delivery of water for customers downstream, as well as water savings for the district.
Board Chair Terry Burgi, who is also a farmer, said the visit to the district gave Board members a chance to hear directly from customers and staff about some of the issues around managing floods.
“We all know that flood management through Lake Glenmaggie can be a challenge, and it was great for the Board to hear about the challenges, as well as some of the innovations that Southern Rural Water has introduced,” said Terry.
“This visit provided the opportunity for the Board to hear from the MCCC members on the current challenges facing customers in the irrigation district, and what Southern Rural Water can do to further support the ongoing growth of irrigation in the Macalister.”
For more information about Southern Rural Water, please phone 1300 139 510.
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