Wagga City councillors have backed a plan to use a new temporary weir to combat water level issues at Lake Albert, which was endorsed by a users’ group.
The aim of the proposed new weir was to create a pond to redirect water into Lake Albert during storm events.
The levee will be constructed to a height approximately 2.5 metres above the invert of the Tatton drain
Wagga Aquatic Users Group and Lake Albert Forum member Gary Williams gave a deposition to Monday night’s council meeting in which he said the weir was needed as part of an urgent response.
Mr Williams said both farmers and Lake Albert users had been impacted by high evaporation rates, with the water level projected to sink to 1.4 metres by April 2019.
“This level will impact aquatic sports and adversely affect the financial position of many business that rely on Lake Albert for trade,” he said.
“Those business include boating, water-skiing and fishing businesses as well as the Wagga Boat Club, Country Golf Club and the Wagga Sailing club.”
Mr Williams said if the Tatton drain project was completed before then end of the month it could provide an additional 200mm of depth to Lake Albert.
Wagga council asset remediation engineer Peter Ross recommended that councillors support the weir to “help overcome water level issues within Lake Albert”.
The cost of the weir and associated works is $52,000 from the 2018/19 Urban Drainage and Routine Maintenance Stormwater allocation.
Mr Williams said Lake Albert relied on the seasonal Stringybark and Crooked creeks providing inflows after a concentrated 120 millimeters of rain.
“As the 2018 spring outlook is for below average rainfall, there is no expectation that those creeks will flow this year.”
Councillor Paul Funnell Asked Mr Williams if the forum would accept an alternative and less expensive design.
“If there is an alternate way that does not slow up the building of the thing and it captures all the water, I think that’s fine,” Mr Williams said.
Cr Funnell said councillors understood the need for expediency and to protect the economy.
“I believe there is a way that we can very quickly, more cheaply and efficient, get this sorted out that is not necessarily temporary,” Cr Funnell said.
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