Lake Lonsdale water outflow lower than expected

WATER authorities have allayed fears about the amount of water being released from Lake Lonsdale.

Lake Lonsdale Action Group president Ray Howard attended a meeting with representatives from Northern Grampians Shire Council, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, GWMWater and the Office of the Environmental Water Holder last week.

“There was to be about 3100 megalitres of water released for environmental flows to Mt William Creek,” Mr Howard said.

“If they released that much it would damage our fish stocks, which have been really good.

“Now we’ve discovered that not that much is going to be released.”

He said the authorities confirmed the total amount of water planned for release into Mt William Creek throughout summer was 570 megalitres.

Mr Howard said maintaining fish stocks and enough water for recreational use was vital for the region’s economy.

“It’s important both for locals and for tourism,” he said.

“When we can use the lake, businesses and traders in town reap the benefits.

“When it’s dry, we lose a lot of business.

“The lake is worth a few million dollars a year. That’s why we continue to fight so hard for it.”

Council chief executive Justine Linley said residents questioned why water was being released from Lake Lonsdale when other storages in the catchment appeared to be full.

She said the lake’s management was not clear to the community.

“We need to make sure the information given to the community is clear and consistent,” she said.

“There was a commitment by the authorities to do that and to keep the dialogue going.”

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