Groundwater salinity levels are rising in the Shepparton district.CATHY WALKER November 15, 2012 4:05am
Salinity levels in the Shepparton Irrigation Area are on the rise and could impact severely on agricultural production, even with average rainfall over the next 12 months.
Then, in Shepparton East and Ardmona for example, pear and apple trees died when the high watertable meant there was salty water in their root zones.
Recently, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority used public groundwater pumps for winter salt disposal in the SIA — the first time in more than a decade the pumping has been needed.
The authority’s sustainable irrigation manager Carl Walters said operation of the pumps in winter was a key aspect of managing salinity risk to irrigated land, and was done in liaison with the Victorian Government and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
He explained that agreed ‘‘triggers’’ such as the watertable level and Murray River conditions had to collide before the pumps discharged water into streams and channels.
‘‘Salt disposal from the region’s public groundwater pumps to the Murray River is in accordance with strict guidelines to ensure no adverse downstream impacts,’’ Mr Walters said.
‘‘The long drought prevented pumping for salt disposal because river flows were below disposal trigger levels.
‘‘Fortunately the drought also reduced the need for pumping by lowering the watertable.’’
Mr Walters said the need to re-activate the groundwater pumping highlighted re-emergence of the salinity risk to productive agriculture and the importance of drainage to ensure irrigation in the Shepparton region was sustainable.
There are more than 900 groundwater pumps in the area, 800 in private hands that help with local salt impact mitigation. Of Goulburn-Murray Water’s 119 groundwater pumps, 69 discharge to G-MW’s water supply channels.
‘‘The Goulburn Broken CMA is keen to raise awareness of the re-emergence of salinity risk and has reinstalled watertable watch flags at key locations across the region,’’ Mr Walters said.
He said the watertable watch flags on test wells were widespread before the drought and were effective at highlighting salinity and drainage issues.
Now, he and GBCMA staff will closely monitor those wells through the region.
‘‘It took 10 years of drought for the watertable to drop 3
Little butterflies, and marvellous munchkins will flutter to the stage at Shepparton’s Eastbank Centre tonight and tomorrow for the Goulburn Valley Academy of Ballet concert.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala Cricket Club has hosted the first ever ACA Masters contest at the Stan Hargreaves Oval in Yarrawonga.
There was a good turnout for Wednesday’s Remembrance Day service in Tatura, which saw a number of wreaths laid at the War Memorial, and the presentation to Brad Corken, of the Tatura RSL Spirit Award 2015, by president Robert Mathieson.
MEN’S Sheds are synonymous with regional Australia — a place for blokes to gather around a plank of wood, a saw, a hammer and some power tools.
A GROUP of Rochester Secondary College students visited Bendigo last week to donate blood for the first time.
Bowls Club hosts 49th Victorian Country Masters Pairs
The Oriential Weatherloach has infested the Goulburn River.
The largest ever Strawberry Fields crowd turned out to enjoy the event on the Murray River at Tocumwal at the weekend.
AFTER the hottest October in Victoria since records began in the 1850s, it will come as little surprise that rainfall across the district was unusually low.
No, it won’t be Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer creating the Christmas lighting in Cobram this year, it will be Cobram couple, Ron and Kath Renfrew,
‘Peppinella’ development bigger than first planned
Watch and Act issued for Corowa and Wahgunyah near Rutherglen, urging people to leave now as conditions may worsen.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.