The Moorabool River is facing the very real threat of stopping flowing completely along virtually its entire length.
Earlier last month a resident on the East Moorabool River informed us that the river had ceased to flow at his property below the Bostock Reservoir. Inquiries of Barwon Water confirmed the situation letting us know that passing flows from the Bostock Reservoir had been discontinued after an extended period of no inflows. According to them this was the first time this had occurred since the Millennial Drought in 2009.
A visit to the East Moorabool River on March the 31st showed the river completely stopped at the confluence with Bungal Creek.
About a week later we received reports that flows around the quarry below Batesford had ceased resulting in significant fish and eel mortality in the two pools that quickly dry out without inflows. It is our understanding that quarry staff worked to save a number of them.
Recently flows over the Batesford Weir ceased and duckweed is once again rife.
The CCMA have informed us that there are no passing flows being released from Lal Lal Reservior due to zero inflows. The only water the river is getting from the dam is the last of the current environmental flow which was due to cease on the 12th of April.
This flow was in evidence at Sharpes road Bridge on the 3rd of April.
The CCMA are now planning to use some of next season's allocation in order to keep the river flowing for the time being. This will understandably impact on what will be available for the environment but the situation is obviously becoming serious.
This could be another rough trot for this massively over allocated river and is indicitive of the lack of resilience it has to low rainfall periods. We ask that everyone keep a watching brief on the Moorabool River particularly with regard to fish deaths or black water events.