Water releases from Polly McQuinns for the first time in 10 years

By Geoff Adams

Drought conditions have seen Goulburn Valley Water, for the first time in 10 years, release water from Polly McQuinns Reservoir to supplement water for human consumption downstream.

Goulburn Valley Water regional operations manager Daryl Bennett said the authority had been investigating alternative water supply and sourcing opportunities to access additional water for the Euroa Water Treatment Plant, rather than relying on the current limited availability of stored water.

Residents in Euroa and Violet Town are supplied by this treatment plant and have been on Stage 2 water restrictions since April 2019, due to lower catchment inflows and higher temperatures and water usage experienced in the previous years.

“On December 17, we began releasing water from Polly McQuinns Reservoir, which increased flows in the Seven Creeks by one megalitre a day,” Mr Bennett said.

“Due to a drop in water levels, we stopped releasing water on December 30, but we will continue to release water opportunistically when conditions and flows are favourable.

“We’re conscious of the environmental value of Polly McQuinns Reservoir and the creek downstream, so we’re working closely with the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority to ensure flows remained beneficial for the environment and local animal populations, and water release timing is appropriate.”

Polly McQuinns Reservoir holds about 78 Ml of water, however, the reservoir can be quite shallow in places so water can appear to recede from the banks quite quickly when it’s being released.

Mr Bennett said levels in the reservoir would always be monitored if water was being released to ensure it remained at appropriate levels.

“Since we stopped releasing water in late December, the reservoir level has stabilised and is spilling through the ‘v-notch’ in the wall.

“This is the first time water has been released from Polly McQuinns since 2008 — that release was also part of our strategy to help maximise available water supplies under drought conditions responses.”