Key Knowledge and skills • Geographic characteristics • Distribution of water resources • Factors affecting patterns of water use • Current management policies and strategies
Characteristics of the Goulburn river catchment • Fertile soils • Cool winters • Warm – dry summers = an ideal agricultural climate
Characteristics However……. • Rainfall is low and unreliable Therefore….. • Irrigation water is needed to take advantage of these conditions
One of the most productive irrigated farming regions • ~ 200,000 people live in the catchment • Work in: • Producing • Processing • Transporting agricultural products to regions within Australia and overseas.
Use of water • Irrigation uses most of the water in the Goulburn catchment while the remainder meets • urban, • industrial and • environmental demands During the recent drought water supplies were severely reduced
Use of waterShepparton Irrigation Region (SIR) • Uses its water to produce $4.5 billion worth of: • Dairy foods • Wine • Grapes • Apples • Pears • Cherries • Berries and vegetables
SIR • This region Contributes 25% of Victoria's export earnings. • Some of Australia's largest food processing, dairy and canning companies are located here
Management of water Resources Main storages in the Goulburn Valley region include. • Lake Eildon • Goulburn Weir • Waranga Basin
Movement • Water is released from these storages and distributed via channels to the Shepparton and central Goulburn irrigation districts, and to the towns in the west and north west.
Management • Goulburn – Murray water is the company responsible for this regions water • It stores, manages, and delivers the water through a complex system of dams, weirs and 6300 km of distribution channels to its 24 000 customers
Issues facing the Goulburn Valley region • Similar to other parts of the basin including: • loss of biodiversity, • Land degradation • Rising water tables • Dry land salinity and • Supplying amounts of water for irrigation, and • Maintaining the rivers health
Issues • In 2009 – 2010 Goulburn-Murray Water began the irrigation season with zero water allocations, because of low river flows • Threatened farmers livelihood's and • Victoria's food supplies
Issues • 2010 – 2011 provided the highest irrigation allocations for 5 years and allowed water to be stored • Before allocations to irrigation, sufficient supplies are required to meet: • Essential hygiene and • Domestic • Other concerns = sugarloaf pipeline • Ballarat and Bendigo receive water piped from the Goulburn
Responses • To maintain high productivity must be more efficient • ~ 850 Gl of water lost annually through: • leaks, • seepage, • inaccurate metering of water and • evaporation This is nearly 9 sugarloaf’s capacity Out-dated infrastructure
Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal(NVIR) • was established in 2008 to deliver major changes to water delivery and improve infrastructure. • Measures include: • More efficient flows to farms via • Automated channel control system • Repairing leaks and lining some channels • Reducing overflows
By 2012 it was estimated that 225 GL of water will be saved • 2.3 surgarloaf’s