Instead of topping up Lake Wyangan by 1500 megalitres for summer – Griffith City Council will sell water to help fund a long-term solution to blue-green algae.
During a council meeting this week, councillors voted to sell 1200 megalitres and have 300 megalitres flow into the lake. In previous years, council has injected 1500 megalitres straight into the lake to maintain the water level.
Temporary water in the Murrumbidgee Valley is priced around $430 per megalitre meaning council could earn $520,000.
Griffith Marine Centre owner Scott Collis said he was looking forward to a long-term fix to Lake Wyangan’s blue-green algae woes.
“The biggest thing now is for clarity on where the money is spent,” Mr Collis said.
“Perhaps going forward the Lake Wyangan Management and Catchment Committee should meet more often, rather than once every two months.”
Mr Collis said the committee needed to drive the community’s interest forward and to ensure there was value from the money spent.
“The lake is a community asset and a tool for water management, the recreational clubs, the community, Murrumbidgee Irrigation and Griffith City Council all have a duty of care towards the lake,” Mr Collis said.
The finer details of what the money is to be spent on are still to be worked out, but the money provides plenty of options.
Mayor John Dal Broi said council had previously applied for grant money and didn’t rule out applying for new grants to add to the money from the sale of water.
“We’ve got to be very conscious of how we spend the money and however we spend it and that we get results so that we can control the blue-green algae,” Councillor Dal Broi said.
Member for Murray Austin Evans said if there was a good plan presented for funding, he would support it.
“Most councils realise these days they’re got a better chance if they contribute something,” Mr Evans said.
“If they put a good proposal forward, I would be happy to lobby on their behalf.”
Mr Evans said selling the water could be short term pain for long term gain. He said in recent wet years there had been the volume of water the quality was lacking.
“So the work needs to address the quality, those works mean the wet years can be taken advantage of, if the works are done right.”
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