Toolondo residents fear lack of water will kill community

TOOLONDO residents hope rain will save their community, fearing Toolondo Reservoir will not survive another summer without water. 

The Mail-Times reported in February that residents wanted 5000 megalitres of water from Rocklands Reservoir to save the lake.

They believe their community is dying because of dropping water levels.

"No Chance": Peter Walsh refuses water for Toolondo Reservoir

Last month, GWMWater released its Wimmera Glenelg Bulk Entitlement review, which committed to an ongoing water supply for Green Lake, Lake Marma and Walkers Lake.

Toolondo Reservoir missed out on receiving water.

The review also recommended the trigger for release to the reservoir from Rocklands remain unchanged.

Toolondo resident Melissa Kenealy said the fight to get water had not stopped, despite the blow.

“The bulk water entitlement for the next five years has been released and, despite all the hard work, pleas and signatures on petitions, GWMWater has ignored us,” she said.

“Toolondo gets no water and the trigger point is the same.

“But the real kick in the pants is that Green Lake is going to get water on a regular basis.

“I guess it makes the drive from Melbourne to Horsham look a lot prettier if there is water in it.”

However, Ms Kenealy said it was not all doom and gloom for the community.

“This fight is not over.” - Toolondo resident Melissa Kenealy

If Rocklands Reservoir reaches 116,000 megalites, water can be released into Toolondo.

“I have been studying the water levels in Rocklands and Toolondo and the current water level is above what it was this time last year,” she said.

“This time last year, Rocklands was at 83,740 megalitres – it is now at 91,237 megalitres. 

“If this continues, we will reach the trigger point.”

Ms Kenealy said Toolondo previously reached the trigger point between August and November last year, yet no water was released into the reservoir.

GWMWater customer relations manager Helen Friend said at that time, Toolondo needed another seven gigalitres of water to reach 2012 levels, but no more than three gigalitres could have been delivered without breaking the operating rules.

“This small supply could not be justified as an efficient use of water compared with retaining water in Rocklands to help the security of all entitlements,” she said

Ms Kenealy said she hoped if the trigger point was reached again, GWMWater would allow water to flow into the reservoir.

“This fight is not over,” she said.

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