Water levels in the Torrumbarry weir pool on the Murray River will vary between June and August this year to help improve the health and stability of the river banks.
Murray-Darling Basin Authority Executive Director of River Management, Andrew Reynolds, said Torrumbarry locals and visitors may notice changes to water levels as the weir pool varies between full supply level and 30 centimetres below.
“Thirty centimetres might not sound like much, but even small changes help to restore a more natural drying and wetting cycle that benefits the long term-term health of the local river environment,” Mr Reynolds said.
“We know if weir pool levels are held steady for long periods it can cause bank saturation, which leaves the banks more vulnerable to erosion from wind and the wash of passing boats. By lowering the water levels from time to time we reduce the soil saturation and promote the growth of native fringing vegetation.
“Changes to the height of Torrumbarry’s weir pool will be gradual and the pool will return to near-full supply in late August, before the start of the irrigation season.”
Goulburn-Murray Water General Manager Water Delivery Services, Warren Blyth, said the lowering of the weir pool had been timed to avoid any impact on irrigation and tourism activities.
“As the weir pool level is remaining within the normal operating range, it means it is unlikely the reduced level will have any significant effects on river users, boat owners and landholders. However, we do ask that river users and landholders remain aware of the changing water levels in case they need to adjust pumps, moorings and recreational activities,” Mr Blyth said.
“In particular, GMW customers are being asked to monitor pumping infrastructure to avoid any possible damage should water levels drop below extraction levels.”
This routine operation has been conducted annually for a number of years by the MDBA in cooperation with Victorian and New South Wales water agencies, consistent with practices at locks 7, 8, 9 and 15.