The head of the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority says he would support more water piping in the region, following the results of a new survey by the body.
In June, the CMA asked Wimmera river users and fishers what changes they had noticed over the past 10 years with what they were catching, and when. Chief executive David Brennan said there was a significant difference in response depending on where people lived.
"Areas that haven't had the availability of environmental water have felt the full impact of drought conditions and the environment isn't as healthy as it is in those with water provided by the pipes," he said.
"We hear this from people in sections in the catchment above Taylors Lake all the way through to Dadswells Bridge and Mount Cole east of Ararat. We are always exploring options to deliver water in an efficient and effective manner, whether that's tapping into the existing pipeline or other methods we're absolutely keen on that."
GWMWater chairman Peter Vogel, of Watchem, said the pipeline would hold the region in good stead as the Wimmera's reservoir levels continued to drop.
"Total levels are around 36 per cent at the moment, but the reality is on minimal inflows we would have three years of water without restrictions into our urban and rural sectors," he said.
"You look at Wartook and Bellfield, they are high quality storages and I think it's around 70 per cent in Bellfield, and that gives it security of supply for the entire supply system
"We've got a 42 or 43000 megalitre water entitlement and we're probably using about half that, so the reality is there is plenty of spare capacity therefore we end up with carryover and we really don't have any problems in the short term."
Mr Vogel said representatives of a steering group were set to head to Canberra later this year to lobby for funding for the West Wimmera pipeline, which seeks to give farmers in the region access to high quality water and improve water supply security to Harrow and Edenhope.
"I have always argued the West Wimmera was last bit of jigsaw with the Wimmera-Mallee and East Grampians pipelines done, but in some ways they're not done," Mr Vogel said.
"I had a letter about a month ago from a customer just outside footprint of the East Grampians asking if they could be connected to the pipeline, so you connect them and then the next one wants it. I don't know where pipelining will end, but when you consider the impact of climate change, it is the most efficient way of using water."
Victorian Recreational Fishing chairman Rob Loats, who farmed between Minyip and Donald before retiring, said the group was still pushing for the region's lakes to receive their annual allocation of water.
"It was agreed (as part of the pipeline) all the recreational lakes in the pipeline footprint would receive water as a priority, an equal amount as was given to stock and domestic water," he said.
"It's an adequate amount to keep the likes of Green Lake serviceable - but it hasn't happened, somewhere along the line it's been watered down."
Mr Loats said VR Fishing had made representations to the state water minister, GWM and the Department of Environment, Lands Water and Planning.
A DELWP spokeswoman said GWMWater held an entitlement of 3,090 ML to support water-dependent recreation in the region.
"Due to recent very dry conditions in the Wimmera-Mallee supply system, no allocations have been made for entitlement holders in 2019/20," she said.
"This includes urban, rural, recreational and environmental entitlement holders."
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