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Hindmarsh building large water body

Water banks up to Jeparit weir in August as a natural flow reaches the Wimmera River’s northern reaches. Any water that passes through the weir runs into Lake Hindmarsh.

Water banks up to Jeparit weir in August as a natural flow reaches the Wimmera River’s northern reaches. Any water that passes through the weir runs into Lake Hindmarsh.

By DEAN LAWSON

Catchment leaders monitoring floodwater in the Wimmera River believe the massive expanse of Lake Hindmarsh at Jeparit might get to hold a quarter of its capacity with more spring rain.

They said any more ‘reasonable’ flows in the river caused by heavy rain forecast for the catchment this week would pour straight into the lake.

Lake Hindmarsh, considered one of, if not the largest natural freshwater lake in the state, holds more than 430,000 megalitres, the equivalent of a major bay.

At a quarter full the lake would hold 107,500 megalitres, which represents more than the Boga Lakes east of Horsham can hold combined.

Wimmera Catchment Management Authority statutory and strategic manager Tony Baker said flights across the lake had revealed most of the terminal Hindmarsh depression was now covered with water.

“We’ve had tens-of-thousands of megalitres pass through the Wimmera River and it is hard to estimate how much water is actually in the lake,” he said.

“But depending on what happens with the rain this week, estimations are that it would have to be close to a quarter full. We’re not expecting too many dramas with any flooding. The weather bureau has issued no warnings at this stage, but we’ll be keeping an eye on the forecasts and will prepare for circumstances as they arise.”

Mr Baker said the authority was busy assessing flood damage in the upper catchment and, similar to other agencies, was preparing for the potential impact of more rain.

Reservoirs

GWMWater is also preparing for heavy rain and the prospect of more water flowing into catchment reservoirs.

Water resources manager Andrew Barton said while some reservoirs had received significant inflows, many also had ‘air space’ and could cope with extra water. “If Wartook gets more water it will most likely spill, but Lake Lonsdale, Rocklands Reservoir and Lake Bellfield still have air space,” he said.

“Also, while Pine Lake is not part of the water-supply system, it is there to use as a tool – a buffer and convenient place to out-fill excess water safely.

“Green Lake is getting close to being full and we are aiming on keeping it at about 75 percent.

“We’re not planning to put water into Dock Lake, but if it gets exceptionally wet, that might happen.”

Mr Barton said Rocklands level was also continuing to approach a trigger point for a water release into Toolondo Reservoir, and a decision was likely in the coming weeks.

“We are basically banking the water we are getting at the moment,” he said. “We certainly have enough for supply for the year ahead, and in fact are likely to be in a good position for the next few years. There are going to be broad benefits for the region.”

Lake Hindmarsh is the first of the Wimmera River system’s two terminal lakes.

On rare occasions when Lake Hindmarsh fills, water spills into Outlet Creek and heads towards Lake Albacutya, the second of the lakes.

• Late yesterday, VICSES issued a flood watch for north-west Victoria.

The entire September 28, 2016 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=35805

Posted on Sep 28 2016

Posted by on Sep 28 2016. Filed under Environment, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Hindmarsh building large water body”

  1. Rob Johnson

    Please keep publishing up to date info on the Hindmarsh lake and the Wimmera river.inflow.
    It is not available anywhere else , it seems.

  2. Rob Johnson

    Any update on the situation with water levels in Lake Hindmarsh ?.

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