During a flood event in Victoria, the Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) is the lead agency for the emergency. The Bureau of Meteorology’s flood warnings for rivers and streams are distributed by the SES via the VicEmergency website at www.emergency.vic.gov.au
The role of Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is to support and work with the SES to minimise the impact on customers and the community affected by flooding. GMW helps emergency services and the Bureau of Meteorology to prepare flood warnings by providing information about the operation of its storages.
Where to find storage levels and river flows/levels
Please note that we strive to ensure this information remains up to date. Sometimes operational matters arise and there may be delays in updates.
Preparing for higher water levels
There are some regulations regarding the works people can undertake on farm dams and channels on their property that GMW enforces.
During flood events, changes made to farm dams and channels can affect water flows and change conditions downstream.
- Inspect and monitor your dam prior to flooding - more information on this is available below.
- Prepare to move machinery and livestock to higher ground.
- Don't pump any water on your property into GMW irrigation or drainage channels unless you have a current pumping agreement and have gained approval from GMW to commence pumping. This is to ensure that additional water pumped into these systems does not exceed the channel capacity and cause additional flooding.
- Don’t cut your channel to remove water from your property. In a flood event, GMW’s irrigation system may need to be locked to prevent water travelling down the system and flooding other landholders.
Contact GMW’s 24-hour Emergency Line on 1800 064 184 if you have any concerns about the safety of your property. For flood or storm emergency assistance from the SES call 132 500.
Farm dam safety
Increased rainfall is experienced during most flooding events, so it is important to check all farm dams regularly.
Not only can a collapsed farm dam cause significant damage to the environment and neighbouring downstream properties, but the owner may be liable for all associated costs.
You should ensure:
- The dam crest is level without potholes or erosion
- Compensation pipes are in good working order and are able to regulate flows downstream of the storage
- Spillways are clear and unobstructed
- A regular inspection of the dam wall is undertaken for any signs of leaking, slippage or erosion
- Stock do not have access to the dam wall, as they can cause damaging erosion
- Dam Safety Emergency Plans are reviewed on a regular basis
If you have any concerns, please phone GMW on 1800 013 357.
For flood or storm emergency assistance from the SES, phone 132 500.
For emergencies, phone Triple Zero (000)
Changes in water quality
Changes in water quality can occur for a variety of reasons and water users are encouraged to keep a lookout for changes in water quality at all times.
During storms or rainfall events in particular changes in water quality in natural water bodies and in GMW’s irrigation systems can occur.
Rain can wash leaves, branches, litter and sediment into waterways and affect the quality of water supplies. Discolouration of the water can occur, giving it a dark appearance as well as producing a pungent earthy odour. The water may contain very large numbers of bacteria.
Decomposing vegetation and large amounts of sediment can reduce the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. This may adversely affect fish, yabbies and other aquatic life that need oxygen dissolved in the water in order to breathe.
As rainfall carries nutrients into water bodies it may provide ideal conditions for blue‑green algae growth.
People drawing water directly from natural water bodies in the region or from GMW's irrigation system are advised to monitor their supply source and make alternative arrangements if water quality deteriorates.
GMW customers are reminded that the water supplied by GMW is untreated and is not suitable for drinking or food preparation. Untreated water should also not be used for purposes where skin contact occurs, such as showering.
Frequently asked questions
Download our Flood preparation fact sheet, PDF and FAQs about flood management and GMW, PDF
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