Avoca River

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For the river in Ireland, see River Avoca. For the river in New Zealand, see Avoca River, New Zealand.
Charlton footbridge.JPG
Avoca River at Charlton
Country Australia
State Victoria
Part of Murray River
Cities Avoca, Logan, Charlton, Quambatook
Source Great Dividing Range
 - location Mount Lonarch
 - elevation 307 m (1,007 ft)
Mouth Kerang lakes
 - location Kerang
 - elevation 74 m (243 ft)
Length 270 km (168 mi)
Course of the Avoca River
Wikimedia Commons: Avoca River
The Avoca River near Logan

The Avoca River drains a substantial part of Victoria, the southernmost state of mainland Australia. The river rises at the foot of Mount Lonarch in the Central Highlands near the small town of Amphitheatre, and flows north for 270 km[1] through Avoca, Charlton and Quambatook. Although the Avoca River Basin is part of the Murray-Darling Basin,[2] the Avoca does not empty into the Murray. Nowhere a large stream, it dwindles as it flows north, eventually terminating in the Kerang Lakes,[2] a network of ephemeral swamps west of Kerang and about 20 km south of the Murray.

Although the Avoca has a substantial 14 000 square kilometres catchment area[1] (the fifth largest in Victoria), most of that area is on the northern plains where rainfall averages only about 350 mm per year,[1] and where there is little runoff as the terrain is very flat. The mean annual runnoff of 137 GL/year accounts for only 0.67% of Victoria's runoff.[3] Most of the water flowing in the Avoca originates in the narrow upper portion of the catchment area, where rainfall averages about 600 mm per year,[1] most of it falling in the winter and spring.[4]

Of all the Victorian rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin, the Avoca is the most variable.[1] The average annual flow is 85 000 ML, however recorded actual flows have varied from almost five times the average figure in very wet years to 0.5% of the average in drought years. It is normal for the Avoca to stop flowing for weeks or months at a time during summer and autumn.

Although it is the only river of significance in the area, the Avoca has had no major water storages constructed on it, merely six weirs of only local significance.

It is little used for irrigation as during the peak demand period (summer and autumn) it is often not flowing at all. During low flow periods Avoca River water is usually too saline to water crops with, but can still provide drinking water for sheep and cattle.

Coordinates: 35°42′S 143°44′E / 35.700°S 143.733°E / -35.700; 143.733


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