Morambro Creek and Nyroca Channel Water Allocation Plan

The Water Allocation Plan for the Morambro Creek and Nyroca Channel Prescribed Watercourses, including Cockatoo Lake and the Prescribed Surface Water Area, was adopted on 13 January 2006.

The WAP aims to:

  • protect the resource for all water users, now and into the future
  • provide greater certainty for water users.

Find out more information about what a WAP is and why they are important.

Find out about permits and licences relating to this WAP.

Protecting the Morambro Creek water resource

Morambro Creek's headwaters are in the Wimmera region in western Victoria, with 70-90% of its flows originating from this catchment. From there it flows into South Australia near Frances and into Cockatoo Lake, which is an important waterbird refuge and recreational resource. It then flows along the Nyroca Channel and discharges into the Marcollat watercourse. Morambro Creek is ephemeral, flowing on average 3 in 5 years, which is typical of streams in the South East. Its flows are influenced by dams, drainage wells and natural runaway holes.

A catchment area of approximately 22,487 hectares, including Morambro Creek and 30 kilometres of the Nyroca Channel, was prescribed as a protected water resource in 2001. This was in response to an increase in demand for water to address increasing salinity in the adjacent Padthaway underground water resource. Diversion of water could affect Morambro Creek, which has ecological and social importance. Existing water users in the area divert water from the Morambro Creek, the Nyroca Channel and via dams or drainage wells. The diverted water is used for aquifer recharge, stock, domestic, irrigation and recreation purposes. There is expected to be an increase in demand.

There are no formal surface water arrangements in place between the South Australian and Victorian governments to ensure a whole-of-catchment approach to the management of Morambro Creek. The South East Natural Resources Management Plan identifies this issue as a threat to sustainable water resource management. The first step is to develop a Memorandum of Understanding, which is currently in discussion.