The future management of Lake Meran is clearer following work carried out to protect the rights of water users and environmental values of the lake.
The North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has continued to implement the Meran Lakes Complex Environmental Water Management Plan (EWMP) to provide protection for an important population of Murray River turtles in Lake Meran, and ensure the wetland provides habitat for water birds and native fish.
While the EWMP reflects Lake Meran environmental management needs, it also considers recreation and opportunistic irrigation diversions on the lake, with water for the environment the only source of water for the wetland - outside of a natural flood
Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) has, as required, considered work undertaken by the CMA within the EWMP in the development of its Lake Meran Local Management Plan (LMP). The draft LMP was released for public feedback in April, and was this week endorsed by GMW’s Board.
The LMP aims to provide GMW’s customers and the community with an easy-to-understand management framework for surface water resources on Lake Meran, which is located south-west of Kerang.
It includes licence trading opportunities and describes how restrictions to the take and use of water from the lake will be applied in administering licence terms and conditions.
GMW Manager Groundwater and Streams Matt Pethybridge said five submissions on the plan were received and thanked those who took the time to make their thoughts known.
“Feedback is vital when it comes to putting together local management plans and we were glad to see a number of submissions on this plan,” he said.
“The plan has been created with careful consideration of a number of different interests, and it was important to find the balance between these.
“Though Lake Meran only has a small number of licence holders, it is important that their objectives are considered alongside the role that the lake plays in providing environmental and recreational values, which makes it an important community asset.”
GMW’s role is to manage access to water from Lake Meran by unregulated diverters with respect to the EWMP. Unregulated diverters receive opportunistic water when it becomes available and has varying reliability.
Water provided by the State Government to protect and enhance the environment of the lake is noted in the LMP.
A copy of the submissions can be found at www.gmwater.com.au/lake-meran