Record Goulburn IVT transfers, says MDBA

Record Goulburn IVT transfers, says MDBA


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MENINDEE EFFECT: Yea beef producer Jan Beer says she believes the high intervalley trade, from the Goulburn to the Murray River, is due to the draining of the Menindee Lakes.

MENINDEE EFFECT: Yea beef producer Jan Beer says she believes the high intervalley trade, from the Goulburn to the Murray River, is due to the draining of the Menindee Lakes.

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Record volumes of water are being traded from the Goulburn Valley to the Murray system, according to the latest Murray Darling Basin Authority report. The Riv...

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Record volumes of water are being traded from the Goulburn Valley to the Murray system, according to the latest Murray Darling Basin Authority report.

The River Murray Weekly Report showed the total volume of intervalley trade (IVT), this financial year, was expected to exceed 4000 gigalitres.

"This volume would not just be a record volume, delivered from the Goulburn Valley, but also a record total volume of IVT delivered in a water year," MDBA River Management executive director Andrew Reynolds said.

The flow from the Goulburn River, into the Murray, was expected to continue to ease from 1500 megalitres a day, to around 940 ML/day by Easter.

"The majority of this flow is Goulburn Valley IVT water that is being delivered to help meet demands on the River Murray," he said.

"The sustained call of IVT delivery from the Goulburn Valley is likely to continue during April if conditions remain dry."

Late last week, the Hume Reservoir was sitting on 18 per cent capacity, reducing by 36GL to 547GL.

Yea beef producer Jan Beer said the Goulburn River had been running very high all season.

"I am fairly sure this IVT is because the MDBA and NSW drained the Menindee Lakes, leading to the catastrophic fish kill, which, of course, the MDBA won't accept any blame for, saying its lack of rain and drought," Ms Beer said.

"So the Goulburn and Murray have to make up the 30pc that Menindee and the Darling might have provided for flows to SA."

The high flows were destroying the Goulburn banks and riparian Red Gum growth.

"So much for releasing environmental flows last year that were supposed to revegetate plants and grasses along the Goulburn banks; they have now destroyed it all by keeping inundated for months on end," she said.

Waterpool chief executive Peter Lawson said the figures were reflective of current conditions.

"It's all driven by seasonal conditions; it's the same old argument, lack of rainfall," Mr Lawson said.

Most of the demand would be coming from horticultural plantings.

"But you also have some dairy enterprises, in the upper reaches of zone seven from the Barmah Choke to the SA border, who are also market participants," he said.

Inflows from Eildon Reservoir could balance the outflow from the Goulburn Valley.

Ricegrowers' Association of Australia president Jeremy Morton said the 4000GL was "a power of water" going down the Murray and highlighted the challenge of future supply for developments, downstream of the Barmah Choke.

"What we are seeing is supply coming out of the Goulburn," Mr Morton said.

"But if you had a situation where demand increased in the Goulburn, say dairy really came good, water in the Goulburn Valley would stay in the Goulburn Valley," Mr Morton said.

"What does that mean for being able to deliver water, below Barmah, with all this new development? At some point, there won't be enough water to go around."

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