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Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group Inc: Bremer River

Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group Inc: Bremer River

Bottle number: 109

About the water

A colour photo of Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group Inc member, Chris Bagley, taking a sample.
Chris Bagley, Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group Inc. Photo: Bruce Allnutt.

Collected at: Near the mouth of the Bremer River, close to Lake Alexandrina, South Australia

E: 323048, N: 6082088, Zone 54

View location on Google map

 

Collected by: Point Sturt and Districts Landcare Group Inc.

Although not in the Landcare Group district the River (when it flows) flows into Lake Alexandrina.

 

Water quality:

Turbidity: NTU ~ 40
pH: 7.5
Nitrates: less than 0.5mg/L
Salinity: 1483┬ÁS/cm
Phosphates: 0.1mg/L
Dissolved oxygen: 3.8mg/L

The Bremer River had stopped flowing some months ago and is now not connected to Lake Alexandrina, so the pool of water from which the water sample was taken is a static pool (at this time)

ACT Waterwatch says:

While the lower lakes have always been more saline, salinity has increased immensely in recent times. Freshwater species are quickly being displaced by marine animals invading the system. Salinity tends to increase in lakes that have little or no outflow such as the Dead Sea in Israel. In Australia's lower lakes, this is being made worse with the terribly low inflows of fresh water. Lake Alexandrina is now .64 meters below sea level. If all the water being stored in the MDB were released, it still would not fill the lakes to their historic levels of .74 meters above sea level!

About the site

Near the mouth of the Bremer River, close to Lake Alexandrina, South Australia.
Near the mouth of the Bremer River, close to Lake Alexandrina, South Australia. Photo: Bruce Allnutt.

Mouth of Bremer River, near where it empties into Lake Alexandrina. Floodplain irrigation of vineyards established approx ten kilometres upstream in late 19th century. River and bore irrigation expanded from mid-20th century, with significant increase from 1980s. Irrigation allocations reduced over recent drought years.

Significant event in August 2009: hundreds of hectares of vineyards flooded along course of Bremer River (around Langhorne Creek) but no flow into Lake Alexandrina. During September/October, intermittent flow to mouth.

Lake Alexandrina was maintained at between 0.75 AHD and 0.85 AHD since completion of Goolwa Barrages in 1940s. At time of sampling it had fallen to (minus) -0.8 AHD and shoreline had retreated about 150m.

What's going on:

Loss of habitat and weed expansion because of long periods of nil flow in lower reaches of Bremer.