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It is estimated that tens of thousands of fish could be lost to irrigation pumps across Victoria each year.  Irrigators are often getting up several times during the night to remove weeds from their pumps.  The great news is there is a solution to this problem, and it’s being made locally in Cohuna where the North Central CMA is undertaking a new way to stop weed clogging and fish being caught up in pumps.

The solution is pump screens, which are currently being used around the world, and are starting to be installed in Australian irrigation districts.  The potential for this solution to save irrigators time and money, as well as improving native fish populations is really exciting.

Cohuna company AWMA Water Control Solutions has developed a product to help with the problem.  We know the pump screens work, and Amy wants to work with local irrigators to gain a bit of more an insight to what is actually happening to pumps without screens.  The North Central CMA is achieving fantastic results with our flows designed to increase numbers of native fish, but there are still a number of issues to do with fish passage that need to be addressed.  One of these is that fish are being caught up in irrigation pumps.

A self cleaning rotating pump screen is one of many different types of screening solutions available to keep debris and fish in the river.

This sort of infrastructure is a Victorian first, and if you would like to be a part of the project and have any information that would be useful you can send it through to: Email: amy.russell@nccma.vic.gov.au  Phone 03 5448 7124.

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Amy Russell
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