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
The sky was the limit when it came to learning about the Royal Flying Doctor Service this week.
Jake Thompson has an eagle eye and a steady hand and he put both to good use recently when he won the U15 Australian Snooker Championships, held in Adelaide.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
SUZANNE’S School of Ballet has once again proved its place in the ballet world with 19 of its 30 exam students blitzing their recent Cecchetti ballet exams in Melbourne.
PLANS are in full swing for the 18th annual Farm and Road Safety Expo in Rochester.
Merrigum’s rise to prominence in the Kyabram District League premiership battle reached new heights in Saturday’s 16th round when it became the first side to lower Avenel’s colours this season.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
HEATHCOTE is being swamped by Pokémon and wannabe trainers, armed with smart phones and iPads, who are trying to catch ‘em all.
Children have been treated to a journey through their imaginations while being encouraged to unleash their inner writers at Barooga Library.
Sixteen local students competed at the NSW PSSA and CHS State Cross Country Championships in Sydney.
SPC will abolish its internal sales team and reduce executive numbers in the latest chapter of the company’s ongoing restructuring.
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.