Lake campaign hits water licence hurdle

Reader Bill McCarthy shared this image on Facebook of a yacht on Lake Colac at the weekend.

Just Add Water campaigners will need to buy existing water licences if they want to top up Lake Colac from the Gellibrand River system.

Colac business people and Polwarth MP Richard Riordan founded the Just Add Water campaign and hoped to divert water from the Gellibrand River system to Lake Colac in a bid to make the lake a destination for recreational use.

Southern Rural Water managing director Clinton Rodda said Southern Rural Water was the licensing authority for extractions from the Gellibrand River system and that licences were at capacity.

He said Southern Rural Water had fully allocated entitlements for the Gellibrand River system and that they were owned by Wannon Water, Barwon Water and individual private licence holders.

Mr Rodda said proponents of the Just Add Water campaign could buy entitlements from existing licence holders and apply to transfer these licences for delivery to Lake Colac.

“Southern Rural Water would assess these applications under section 40 of the water act – noting that such applications attract fees,” he said.

“If water was available and could be secured, a number of factors would need to be explored such as the impacts on other entitlement holders, the environmental impacts and the risk of flooding on low-lying properties surrounding Lake Colac.

“It is important to note that the Gellibrand River is a regionally significant source of water for urban communities and irrigation and has a high environmental value,” he said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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2 Responses to “Lake campaign hits water licence hurdle”

  1. Juggy

    If they take a good look at the Gellibrand River over Winter time, they would see that there is plenty of water there that could be pumped, especially when the river mouth is bared over flooding the flats along it and farmers are losing valuable grazing land for month.
    Mr Riodan is well aware of the river flooding problem and may be able to use that info from the authorities to aid the lake idea.

  2. Bill

    Would like to see the report “Just Add Water” has submitted… without the details it’s hard to see how feasible or not it really is. Seems Barwon Water and Southern Rural Water both are concerned over the flooding impact it could have in Colac township. And now the issue of cost (both dollars and environmental).
    This really needs to be compared to a plan to divide the lake which wouldn’t require extra water and would provide flood mitigation and far more tourist opportunities.

    BTW: like the photo. I think we’d all love to see more yachts on the lake.