12th July 2022

frontcoverMYThe Corangamite Catchment Management Authority in partnership with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation have released the Murrabul Yaluk Water Quality Monitoring Program Report 2021.

As very welcome piece of collaboration between the CCMA and the Wadawurrung it should be applauded. This is a great example of shared knowledge strengthening and empowering both organisations and it bodes well for managing the future of river's like the Moorabool.

A special recognition needs to go to Kristen Lees, Project Officer Regional Citizen Science at the Corangamite CMA who has been instrumental in driving the partnership.

The four sites that were monitored were:

Site 1 - Lal Lal Creek at Lal Lal Falls Picnic Ground 
Site 2 - Moorabool River at Ford (Dolly Creek Rd bridge crossing) 
Site 3 - CO_MOO023 Moorabool River at Sharps Road crossing She Oaks 
Site 4 - CO_MOO045 Moorabool River at Lilydale House, Dog Rocks Rd, Batesford 

A summary of the results concluded:

"• pH is consistent across all four sites with the majority of
results within the Excellent to Good range.

• The dissolved oxygen saturation was lowest at CO_LAL080
ranging from Degraded to Fair. This site does not receive
eWatering. The three sites that are influenced by eWater had
the majority of results ranging from Good to Excellent.

• Electrical conductivity was best at CO_MOO004 the
majority of results rating as Good, and poorest at
CO_LAL080 with the majority of results ranging from
Fair to Poor. Of the three sites that are influenced by eWater
Electrical conductivity results declined as we moved

• Reactive phosphorus results were worst at CO_LAL080
rating from Fair to Poor.

• Turbidity results were consistently Good to Excellent across
all four sites. However, CO_MOO023 and CO_MOO045 did
have Poor condition ratings for the 26th of October 2021
and the 18th of June 2021.

• Aquatic macro-invertebrate ALT SIGNAL2 site scores
(number of creatures / SIGNAL2 score) in 2021 were varied
with CO_LAL080 having an ALT SIGNAL2 score of <4 rating
as 'Severe Pollution', CO_MOO004 having an ALT SIGNAL2
score of between 4 and 5 rates as 'Mild Pollution'. Moving
downstream CO_MOO023 had Autumn 2021 results rate as
'Moderate Pollution' and Spring 2021 being <4 rate as
'Severe Pollution' and CO_MOO045 Autumn 2021 results
rate as 'Severe Pollution' and Spring 2021 rates as
'Moderate Pollution'


It is the last observation which is the most confronting. While the low ALT Signal scores have flagged both Mild and Severe 'Pollution' these are instead more likely a reflection of poor flows something which so severely afflicts the Moorabool River.

There are obvious signs that the limited environmental water is having some impact on sites it reaches but the river desperately needs more.