Farmers urged to keep stock off channel banks

Friday 10 September, 2021

Stock on channelsGoulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is urging customers to keep stock off channel banks to prevent damage and improve water delivery.

GMW Distribution Services manager Greg Shannon said millions of dollars had been invested in improving the condition of channels throughout the irrigation district as part of the Winter Works program.

“We have focused heavily on channel condition, by repairing banks, desilting waterways and treating channels for weed infestation to help improve water delivery,” he said.

“We are asking farmers to ensure their stock are not walking over channel banks, including newly renovated channel banks, as they can destroy all the good work that has been completed.

“Stock drinking from channels instead of troughs can do significant damage to channel banks. This includes the reduction in soil condition and water quality, and the loss of instream habitats.

“Cattle occupying the waterway can also damage clay or other linings, while animal manure in the channels can cause water quality issues.”

GMW are implementing a process where staff will identify channels accessed by stock and if damage occurs, individual customers may be required to pay for the damage.

Mr Shannon said all farmers played a role in maintaining the condition of channels.

“Repairing channel banks can be costly and impacts every customer’s prices,” he said.

“By helping us to protect our channels, everyone benefits from an improved water delivery service and will assist in keeping customer prices lower.”

For more information, visit the GMW website.