The Goulburn River

Introduction

The Goulburn River flows through northern Victoria from upstream of Lake Eildon to the River Murray near Echuca. From Lake Eildon downstream, the floodplains of the highly regulated Goulburn River have experienced a significant reduction in overbank flow events. Because these overbank flows are important for the health of the Lower Goulburn Floodplain, the Goulburn-Broken CMA are using Source to explore their options around restoring a greater frequency of these events. As an alternative to releasing large volumes of water from Lake Eildon to meet environmental flow requirements, the focus for this trial is on the potential to 'piggy-back' or augment tributary inflows with storage releases.

Application of Source

Source, selected for this trial because of its flow routing capabilities, has been used to build and calibrate a daily time step model of the Goulburn River, from Lake Eildon to the River Murray. This daily time step model incorporates tributary inflows, flow routing and the major diversions at Goulburn Weir; and inflow from the Broken River and will be used to simulate winter and spring flows.

The development and application of Source is being undertaken in three main phases:

  • Model development and calibration
  • Current conditions simulation
  • Scenario testing.

Project Outcomes

To date, Phase 1 and 2 have been completed.  A daily Source planning model of the Goulburn River from Lake Eildon to the River Murray has been built and calibrated to historical conditions. This model has also been used to simulate daily winter and spring flows under current development conditions for a 106 year simulation period from July 1891 to June 2006.

Phase 3 is expected to be completed in late 2010.  This phase will involve investigating and testing alternative operational rules for environmental releases to determine their effectiveness at achieving overbank flooding in the Lower Goulburn by augmenting tributary inflows.

Partners: This project is being undertaken by Sinclair Knight Merz Pty Ltd for Goulburn-Broken Catchment Management Authority and eWater.