A management plan has been developed with input from the local community to ensure water levels in the Anglesea River, located in Victoria’s Otways region, will be maintained throughout the 2016/17 summer.
Over the upcoming summer period, water will be pumped from an existing Alcoa water storage pond into the Anglesea River between November 2016 and March 2017 – maintaining adequate water levels for social, economic and environmental benefits.
The Alcoa pond is currently being used to store treated groundwater. Additional water from the river may be extracted during spring – when river water levels are higher – for storage in the pond to ensure there is sufficient water available to discharge over the summer months.
Since the closure of the Anglesea power station in 2015, the Victorian Government has been working closely with stakeholders and the Anglesea community to identify short and long-term management options for the river.
Anglesea residents have participated in the Anglesea Futures Community Conversations forums and their feedback was critical to developing a management strategy.
The government has partnered with Barwon Water and Alcoa to implement the plan and protect the health of the Anglesea River.
Alcoa has made the pond available for use and Barwon Water has agreed to install and operate the necessary infrastructure on behalf of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
The short-term plan will run as a trial over the upcoming 2016/17 summer period. If successful, it will continue to operate until a long-term management solution is developed.
Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville said the government was shaping the future management of the Anglesea River and thanked those involved in the community consultation process.
“I understand how important the river is to the Anglesea community – which is why we have pushed so hard to ensure its long-term sustainability, and bolster its environmental and social value.
“The Community Conversations forums continue to be an important vehicle for community discussion on a range of issues – including future land-use, water, planning and the long term vision for the Anglesea region,” Ms Neville said.