Excess flow puts Murray course under
In the midst of one of the wettest Octobers on record, the mighty Murray River, running adjacent to our golf club, took on some of the highest water levels in recent memory.
With capacity water levels at the Dartmouth and Hume Reservoirs, increased downstream releases caused the Yarrawonga Weir to experience its highest flow rate since the flood events of 2006.
Approaching 60,000 megalitres per day in late August, the rising water levels broke the bank on the Par-5 5th hole, leaving much of the fairway’s left-hand side underwater. The increased water pressure in the stormwater channels also brought flooding to the rear of the Murray Course. For a few weeks at least, the course remained playable, with temporary bridge crossings constructed to allow golfers to navigate recessed areas of the fairways.
However, play finally stopped on Sunday, 16 October. Heavy rain and rising flood waters upstream forced local water management to open the north gates of the Yarrawonga Weir. The feed from the north gates streams directly into the Club’s lagoons and waterways, and the water release was significant.
The flow peaked at 122,000ML/day and remained over 100,000ML/day for at least 48 hours. To put this in context, the total capacity of Lake Mulwala is just 117,000ML – an entire lake’s worth of water running through the gates each day!
With the Murray water level hitting seven metres, much of the Murray Course was quickly submerged.
By Thursday afternoon, flow from the weir began to ease. Combined with some warm and sunny weather, it helped to reduce some of the excess water from across the course.
While a disappointing interruption for our golfers, it was a mere subplot for our friends downstream in Echuca, Moama and beyond. The flooding events caused road closures, mass evacuations, and extensive damage to homes and businesses. Our thoughts remain with these communities as they face ongoing threats and considerable clean-ups.
At the time of writing, the Murray Course was still closed, with a reopening date yet to be set.