Catchment management and source water protection provides the first barrier for the defence for quality drinking water

Barwon Water is working with local landowners, the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) and specialised consultants and experts to remove willows within a section of the East Barwon River to support water security and waterway health.

What does the project involve?

Currently Barwon Water transfers water from its West Barwon Reservoir, located outside of Forrest via a 3.5 kilometre section of the East Barwon River, at which point it diverts into the Wurdee Boluc Inlet Channel (WBIC) and travels approximately 57 kilometres to the Wurdee Boluc Reservoir where it is treated and supplied to customers in the greater Geelong region.

Willow infestation has caused loss of transfer capacity through this section of the East Barwon River, limiting Barwon Water’s ability to transfer water and increasing the frequency of flooding of adjacent properties.

The $4.35 million project will provide environmental benefits as a result of improved water flows, water quality and waterway health, and help to alleviate flooding issues in this section of river, as well as ensure ongoing protection of the WBIC embankment.

The second stage ($2 million) of the project will involve further willow removal downstream of the WBIC diversion along with streambed and embankment reinstatement and stabilisation works.

Ongoing management

Barwon Water have been appointed as the delegated manager of this crown land and therefore we are responsible for controlling weeds and pests on the reserve and ensuring they do not invade neighbouring land. We will support the environment and community through ongoing land and asset management activities. This will include all necessary maintenance and monitoring activities required for the long-term management of the vegetated buffer along this reach of the river.

Working with our partners

The issue of invasive weeds is complex and we are working with landowners and neighbouring property owners, the CCMA, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Eastern Maar on a shared land management approach to effectively manage the issue.

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