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Stormwater for Horticulture


The Vegetable Growers' Association of Victoria has called for a review of horticultural water licensing in the Port Phillip and Westernport catchments to allow the harvesting of storm water flows over summer without compromising environmental stream flows.

Stormwater for HorticultureMelbourne dinner tables are largely supplied with vegetables grown by VGA members operating on Melbourne's urban fringe.

"About half of our members rely on surface water stored in farm dams"
VGA President Luis Gazzola.

Licenses to take and use water are issued by Southern Rural Water under the Water Act 1989 and permit the harvesting of water from local streams between June and October � historically the peak stream flow period.

In recent times we have witnessed a climate shift away from the normal rainfall pattern and an increase in summer storms. Storm water which falls outside the June to October license period is not permitted to be taken from streams and is largely lost to horticulture.

Summer storm water is a lifeline for many vegetable growers. The ability to harvest a small proportion of storm water over summer would secure the supply of fresh local produce for Melbourne�s growing population.


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