Plans are underway to maximise water available to Lockyer Valley farmers from Clarendon and Kentville weirs.
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said level recorders would be installed in the weirs to ensure the most effective and efficient use of water.
“Recorders at the weirs will allow Seqwater to monitor water levels remotely, and release water from dams more quickly to keep these dams topped up for farmers,” he said.
“Remote monitoring, rather than time-consuming onsite inspections, will make the whole process quicker and more efficient.
“Managing weir levels better means better recharging for groundwater and no wastage from water overtopping weirs.
The new monitors are expected to be installed over the next 12 months.
Dr Lynham said the monitors and better management responded to issues irrigators had raised during development of the revised water plan for the Central Lockyer. The new plan also requires Seqwater to monitor, and report, the local water scheme’s performance.
Dr Lynham said Seqwater had also recently undertaken maintenance work to improve flows to Redbank Creek, so that farmers can maximise the water they can draw when the creek is flowing.
“Seqwater undertakes regular maintenance but has also undertaken extra work around Redbank Creek and the pump station that diverts water into Clarendon Dam,’ he said.
“They have excavated the channel that goes to the pump station to improve the flows into the dam.
“As well, rubbish build-up has been cleared from the bed of the diversion channel between Lockyer Creek and Redbank Creek Pump Station to improve flow.”
Dr Lynham said silt build-up in the Lockyer Valley’s 25 weirs was a significant and ongoing challenge.
“Seqwater and my Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy are currently looking for a low or zero cost approach to desilting the weirs.
“This includes investigating the efficiency of the area’s weirs generally, the overall impacts of siltation and the potential for larger-scale desilting works or de-silting priority weirs.
“Seqwater is very conscious that the cost of any improvement works to irrigation schemes are ultimately borne by irrigators and farmers,” Dr Lynham said.
“It’s important to look at the cost-benefit of desilting works and analyse whether the investment required produces real results for water users.”