Hot weather and low or no inflows might affect the quality and quantity of water in some of the region’s rivers, creeks and wetlands this summer, warns Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority Environmental Water manager Simon Casanelia.
‘‘These impacts are expected to be felt most in unregulated streams — waterways without weirs and dams — and streams and creeks that rely on rain and run-off for flows. If conditions remain dry some creeks may stop flowing,’’ he said.
Dead carp have already been reported in the upper Broken Creek in a section of the creek that has stopped flowing.
‘‘As well as low or no flows in creeks and streams, high water temperature reduces the oxygen available in the water, adding to the stress on fish,’’ Mr Casanelia said.
‘‘Generally native fish and animals are resilient and tend to move to pools or shelter before waterways dry out completely.’’
Some wetlands may also dry out; however, wet and dry cycles are natural for wetlands, and the native plants and animals that rely on them for food and shelter have evolved to adapt to these cycles.
Base flows to maintain water quality can be delivered to the lower Goulburn River and lower Broken Creek because they are regulated waterways.
‘‘Water is currently being delivered along the Goulburn River from Goulburn Weir to the Murray River for irrigation and urban consumption,’’ Mr Casanelia said.
‘‘En route to these water users, this water is also meeting the river’s base flow of 500Ml/day to help maintain water quality and to support native fish, water bugs and vegetation.’’
In the Broken and Nine Mile creeks below Katamatite, water is being diverted from the Murray and Goulburn rivers en route to meet downstream demand from Murray River communities and irrigators.
This water is also meeting the creeks’ flow needs of 250Ml/day to provide native fish habitat during the fish migration and breeding season and to maintain water quality.
‘‘These are excellent examples of how environmental water managers and storage managers are working together to achieve multiple benefits from all sources of water,’’ Mr Casanelia said.