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
A Nagambie teenager who suffered serious facial injuries after falling from her dirt bike at high-speed in October last year waited 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.
After what she went through 10 months ago, there could not have been a more popular 2016 Lady Club Champion of Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort than Judy Langford.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
BRADY Threlfall is fast – over 20km, or 30km or even 42.2km (when he’s running a marathon).
NEW Yorta Yorta ‘welcome to country’ signs welcoming travellers to parts of north central Victoria were installed on the Northern Hwy just outside of Rochester and in Cohuna on Wednesday.
Six Kyabram boys will take part in this years Goulburn Murray V/Line Cup.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
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.
THE Holy Rosary Primary School community said a sad farewell on Friday to office manager Joan Short who retired after 38 years at the school.
This week the Cobram Courier and McPherson Media Group are launching a campaign to support the dairy industry, which has been hit by major milk price cuts.
Local owners stoked with horses success.
A Melbourne academic has some tough things to say about dairy, and Country News editor, Geoff Adams has a few responses.
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.