Livestock SA has got behind a Natural Resources SAMDB program to encourage landholders, and particularly livestock producers, to participate in returning ‘low (stream) flows’ around farm dams to watercourses in the Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges.
The ‘Flows for the Future’ program covers the areas of the Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges and the Marne Saunders Water Allocation Plans.
Natural Resources SAMDB has secured significant funding from the Australian Government, with additional funding from the State Government, to enable landholders to install low-flow by-pass devices at no cost to themselves. Not all dams are a priority for the program.
Livestock SA is encouraging those with ‘priority’ dams to get involved. Priority dams will include a selection of licenced dams and stock and domestic dams greater than 5ML storage in the Eastern Mt Lofty’s and just the licenced dams in the Marne-Saunders.
Joe Keynes, President of Livestock SA said: “Livestock SA recognises that the Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges and Marne Saunders Water Allocation Plans include an expectation for provision be made for early season low flows to ‘by-pass’ dams and stream off-takes to maintain the ecology and hydrological health of catchments.”
“We know that this might require low-flow by-pass devices to be installed on targeted dams and watercourse diversions and this program provides a great opportunity to get the job done," he said.
Under the program, Livestock SA has engaged Greg Cock, to work with members and other landholders to facilitate the installation of devices across the region.
“Greg has a long history of working with farmers on natural resource management matters while with PIRSA and will be a great asset for Livestock SA and for the project,” Joe Keynes said.
“This project is a great boost to the region. On my farm, where I have a ‘low-flow by-pass’ installed on a dam at no cost to myself, my dam still fills as usual and it’s great to know I am making a contribution to the health of my catchment and downstream water users.”
Livestock SA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Curtis is keen for landholders to understand that while installation of these devices may become mandatory in the future, there is the opportunity now for landholders to voluntarily grasp the opportunity of installations being designed and installed by experts and fully funded through the program.
‘Low-flow’ by-pass devices are designed to allow those low flows to by-pass a dam, particularly early in the break of season period. During periods of high flows, dams will fill as usual. Joe Keynes observes that “my dams have filled as usual, I feel I have contributed to the health of the catchment and to my downstream water users. It’s a win-win situation and I encourage producers to get on board.
Andrew Curtis says that producers can expect to hear more of the program over the coming months and may be contacted by Greg Cock and the Natural Resources SAMDB team to explore their potential participation in the project.
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For media interviews:
Andrew Curtis, Livestock SA, Chief Executive Officer, 0419 037 569.