News and Views

Mallee water crisis meeting

All farmers are invited to a water crisis meeting with Grampians Wimmera Mallee (GWM) Water’s leadership and Agriculture Victoria’s drought team in Sea Lake the 15th of March 2016 at 6.00pm.

GWM Water Chairman Peter Vogel and Managing Director Mark Williams will present on the impacts of the blue-green algal bloom that forced a shut down of the Pental Island pump station supplying the Northern Mallee pipeline.

GWM Water will also discuss the corporation’s strategy for dealing with the crisis, by reverse pumping from town storages, repeated testing at Murray River pumping stations to make opportunistic use of water when blue green algae levels drop and promoting the use of on-farm storage.

Agriculture Victoria will also attend the meeting to give farmers a run down on how to access the State Government’s $10m Drought Support Fund, which includes $10,000 grants for on-farm infrastructure – such as storage tanks.

Victorian Farmers Federation Vice-President David Jochinke said the meeting would give farmers plenty of opportunities to ask questions of GWM water and Agriculture Victoria.

“It’s vital that people affected by this crisis hear from GWM Water and the experts on the state of stock and domestic water supplies and how to best manage the situation,” Mr Jochinke said.

“We’ve got Agriculture Victoria to come along, so farmers can learn how to tap into this $10 million drought fund, which includes $10,000 risk management grants. With the current crisis, it makes sense that farmers use this money to install tanks that give then at least three days’ supply in case the pipeline is shut down.”

The algal bloom forced GWM Water to turn off its Pental Island pumping station (east of Swan Hill) recently, following toxic blue-green algae hitting levels that put people and livestock at risk.

The Mallee Water Crisis Meeting will be held at the Sea Lake and Districts Community Centre, Complex Drive, Sea Lake Tuesday, 15 March 2106; registration from 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start. All farmers are welcome!

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