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Southern Rural Water wants to introduce some innovative changes to the way groundwater is managed in the south west.

They include more flexible trading rules and the ability for farmers to carryover some of their groundwater allocation from year to year.

General Manager Groundwater and Rivers, Craig Parker, said Southern Rural Water has drafted a local management plan for the local South West Limestone Aquifer, which covers a geographical area including the existing Nullawarre, Yangery, Hawkesdale and Heywood management areas, and southern parts of the Glenelg Water Supply Protection Area.

“We’ve drafted the new plan with help from a group of local groundwater users, local government and the Glenelg Hopkins CMA,” he said.

“The draft proposes a new management boundary that reflects the known area of the aquifer rather than just the areas where groundwater use is concentrated. It also proposes more flexible trading rules and introducing groundwater carryover, as well as maintaining current metering and monitoring.”

Southern Rural Water is hosting two daytime “drop-in” sessions between 11am and 2pm on Thursday 24 July at Hawkesdale Public Hall, and Friday 25 July at Nullawarre Public Hall, for anyone with questions about the plan. The sessions include a light lunch and formal presentation at 12.30pm, but those interested can drop in at any time to ask questions.

A formal evening presentation and discussion will also take place on Thursday 24 July from 7.30-9pm at Lady Bay Resort Centre in Warrnambool.

Anyone planning to attend is asked to RSVP for catering purposes to 1300 139 510 by 18 July.

Written submissions on the plan are also invited by 29 August to PO Box 153
Maffra, Victoria 3860. Copies of the plan can be found on Southern Rural Water’s website at www.srw.com.au under “current projects”. All feedback will be considered before the plan is finalised.

For more information, please contact Southern Rural Water on 1300 139 510.

ENDS.

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