New automated water alerts to save farmers thousands of dollars

11 June 2020

River users and landowners in the Derwent Valley can now automatically be kept informed on changing water levels, potentially saving them many thousands of dollars, thanks to innovative technology from Hydro Tasmania.

A new system of water level notifications is available at https://alerts.hydro.com.au to provide customised SMS, email and text-to-speech alerts from Hydro Tasmania’s remote sensors, advising subscribers of water levels for business or recreational purposes.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said the business wanted to look after its neighbours.

“We been speaking with farmers downstream from our dams and heard about irrigation pumps either being drowned or running dry every few years due to changing water levels, and the cost of repairs that start at $3,000 per pump,” Mr Davy said.

“It’s also particularly concerning for farmers with sensitive crops, who need to plan their irrigation to get the best yields.

“A farmer in the Lower Derwent may not be aware of rain upstream in the river system that is causing water levels in our dams to rise, until they spill, and because changing water levels can impact users in different ways, our new water alert system will let you subscribe to a range of alerts, depending on your needs.

“This information has been available on our website for many years, but we wanted to go a step further and after our initial tests with local users in the Derwent Valley were successful, we’ve used their feedback to help develop the final product.

“Now it’s open to the public, canoeists, kayakers and anglers can also take advantage, as the alerts will let them enjoy increased flows, protect their equipment, or let them know if they still have access to their favourite fishing spot.”

Mr Davy explained that the new system is for water level changes that are smaller than those in flood alerts from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and that Hydro Tasmania can only provide information about the waterways it manages, so people should continue to check information from BOM and State Emergency Services in the event of a flood.

The new water alerts system is initially available for the Derwent and Ouse rivers only, but will be expanded to the Mersey Forth, King, South Esk and Pieman rivers over the next two years.

Find out more information at www.hydro.com.au/water/water-alerts

 

Ends.

Released for Hydro Tasmania by Trent Swindells / 0409 722 359 / media@hydro.com.au.

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