The Goulburn Weir has been awarded international heritage recognition, announced as a Heritage Irrigation Structure by the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage in Mexico City last week.
Completed in 1891, the structure continues to supply properties in the Shepparton and Central Goulburn irrigation districts as well as filling the Waranga Basin water storage and forming Lake Nagambie, with a capacity of 25500Ml, covering a submerged area of 1130ha when full.
At the time of construction the weir was considered very advanced, incorporating one of the first hydro-electric turbines in the Southern Hemisphere and also appearing on the Australian half-sovereign and 10-shilling banknotes in the early 20th century.
The ICID was established in 1950 and is a professional network of experts in irrigation, drainage and flood management.
Its main mission is to exchange knowledge and technology to promote water security, sustainable rural development and increased crop yields to feed the world.
In 2012, the ICID resolved to formally recognise significant irrigation and drainage structures that have contributed to these goals.
‘‘The dams, weirs and other man-made works that are selected to be listed by the ICID as official Heritage Irrigation Structures also have to be more than 100 years old,’’ Goulburn-Murray Water managing director Pat Lennon said.
‘‘So Goulburn Weir will take its place alongside structures as famous as the Aswan Dam in Egypt — bigger than anything the world had ever seen when initially completed in 1901 — to weirs and canals in China that have served civilisations for a thousand years or more.’’
Mr Lennon said G-MW, which has a permanent storage office at Goulburn Weir, would continue to protect the structure’s heritage and keep it in peak operating condition.