AFTER a break of 61 years, water is again flowing into Devilbend Reservoir along its original creek watercourse.
Up to 17 million litres a day will enter the reservoir during peak flow times, thanks to a Parks Victoria water diversion project completed last year.
The flows will raise levels in the reservoir and ensure its sustainability over summer months.
The reservoir is the largest and most significant water body on the Mornington Peninsula, and this seasonal flow will boost its general health and biodiversity and create better habitats for bird and fish, Parks Victoria said.
More than 150 bird species have been seen at the reservoir, including the rare blue billed duck and the white bellied sea eagle. It is also a seasonal home to many migratory birds. The inflow will benefit the native dwarf galaxias fish which was recently re-discovered in the catch drain.
Parks’ ranger team leader Luke Ashford has been watching the results of the project. “Returning the natural flow of water to the original creek bed is already killing off introduced weeds and plants and promoting the return of native species,” he said. “It’s a healthy outcome for both the reservoir and its natural waterway.”
The diversion project was managed in partnership with Melbourne Water. It involved extensive hydrological and excavation work to reactive the creek. Over winter months it will take a portion of the flow from the catch drain and divert it into the reservoir. The system is designed to ensure sustainable flows continue along Devilbend Creek while maintaining the aquatic health and habitat of Devilbend Natural Features Reserve.
“The partnership with Melbourne Water and the local community will allow us to remotely monitor and control the flow rates and water quality running into the reservoir, ensuring a successful biodiversity outcome,” area chief ranger Georgia Kerr said.
Details: call 13 1963 or visit parkweb.vic.gov.au
First published in the Western Port News – 26 September 2017