ABOUT 5 gigalitres of water is expected to flow into the Coorong from the South East drainage network over the next four weeks.
Water Minister Paul Caica said the flows come in addition to the 14gL of water delivered to the Coorong from the SE drainage network in the past financial year.
Mr Caica said the water captured from the SE drainage network, stored in the Morella Basin and released through Salt Creek, will help to revitalise the Coorong’s Southern Lagoon.
The release of water will also help relieve inundation of nearby agricultural land caused by the recent heavy rains.
“With recent heavy rains across SA, the risk of flooding for local landholders has increased,” Mr Caica said.
“So this release will not only supply more water to revitalise the Coorong and improve the surrounding environment, it will also help to maintain agricultural productivity.
“The earlier than usual release of water has been made possible by good winter rains and our adaptable network of drains and floodways that help ensure water gets to where it’s most needed and away from where it’s not.”
Mr Caica said the average salinity level of the water being released is 15,000 EC, which is at least 110,000 EC less saline than water in the Southern Lagoon, ensuring that the flows will have a localised freshening effect on the Coorong.
The 14gL of water delivered in the past financial year was the largest volume of water ever to be released into the Coorong from the network.
The 615-kilometre drainage network is designed to remediate dryland salinity (caused by land clearing and rising water tables), provide flood protection and return water to local wetlands and the Coorong in what is a highly-altered and productive landscape.