ANNOUNCEMENTS by the State government this week around the options for water held in Lal Lal Reservoir have raised concerns within communities along the Moorabool River.
Currently the water is shared by both Geelong and Ballarat, but it is the Geelong allocation that is most critical for the health of the river claimed People for A Living Moorabool (PALM) spokesperson Cameron Steele.
“This river is arguably the most flow stressed in the state with up to 90% of its flow taken in Summer. Geelong’s share of the water flows down a nearly 30km stretch before being extracted at She Oaks. If the river were to lose this vital watering it would be a disaster for the Moorabool.”
An environmental allocation of 2,500ML for the Moorabool River was announced by the then water minister John Thwaites in 2010.
“There was considerable doubt at the time that this small amount of water would have much impact in the Lower Moorabool reaches.” said Mr Steele. “But careful coordination between Barwon Water and the CCMA over the past years has meant environmental releases could be piggy-backed on those of the water authority benefiting over 100km of river. Without it that section of the river would be in an even worse state.”
PALM is seeking more information from Minister Lisa Neville about the Government’s plans for the river.