The Barwon River is a major water supply for Geelong, the smaller urban centres, and farm water supply for the region. The system is significantly altered via extensive farm dam storages, on-stream reservoirs and many diversion licences, but still retains significant values for recreation, tourism, biodiversity and conservation in the Corangamite catchment.
Recent assessment of the ecological condition of the river indicated that further water recovery is likely to be needed, amongst other actions, to contribute to improved ecosystem health in the region. The need for the delivery of an additional 1 gigalitre in environmental flows for Barwon River was recognised in the recent Water for Victoria (Water Plan) document.
We supported the Corangamite CMAs ability to manage and deliver the environmental water reserve (in particular held water), river flows and groundwater discharge into the system..
This FLOWS project did involve an extensive consultation process and we worked with agency stakeholders, community groups, Upper Barwon Surface Water Advisory Group (UBSWAG), the Yarrowee Leigh Flow Committee (YLFC) and the Traditional Owner (TO) groups relevant to the catchments. .
We delivered a process which determined seasonally-variable environmental flow recommendations for priority reaches across the study catchment.