Barwon Downs borefield study on Yeodene Swamp

about 2 years ago

New scientific data showing the impacts of groundwater pumping on Yeodene Swamp (Big Swamp), also provides Barwon Water and the community with information to assist in planning and budgeting for remediation.

The research, commissioned in 2013 by Barwon Water as part of a comprehensive groundwater monitoring program, included acid sulphate soil experts reviewing the interaction between groundwater pumping and the drying of Big Swamp as well as options for remediation.

Barwon Water General Manager Strategy and Partnerships Kate Sullivan said the latest study had confirmed releases of acidic water from the swamp into Boundary Creek were largely a result of very dry climatic conditions and groundwater extraction.

“Through our monitoring program we are building a strong understanding of the connection between groundwater pumping from the Barwon Downs borefield and nearby waterways, including Boundary Creek and Big Swamp,” Ms Sullivan said.

“This data is crucial as it provides a solid scientific basis for us to develop options to improve the condition of Big Swamp and minimise acid events in the future. We are absolutely committed to remediating the swamp to improve water quality and flows downstream.”

Ms Sullivan said the findings were detailed in a draft report currently being reviewed by Barwon Water. It is expected the report will be released on Barwon Water’s website by the end of October.

The Big Swamp study follows confirmation earlier this year of the impact of pumping on Boundary Creek.

The outcomes of these studies, as well as community feedback being gathered through a series of workshops, will provide valuable information for Barwon Water’s Barwon Downs borefield licence renewal application, which is due to be submitted to Southern Rural Water in late 2017.

Barwon Water is currently working with the community and key stakeholders to understand how to balance the needs of the local environment while ensuring affordable water security for the broader region.

The community has been providing feedback on social, environmental and economic outcomes for the borefield and surrounding environment, including impacts and mitigation options. We have held two community workshops, with a third planned for November 15.