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Avoca River at Charlton
|Part of||Murray River|
|Cities||Avoca, Logan, Charlton, Quambatook|
|Source||Great Dividing Range|
|- location||Mount Lonarch|
|- elevation||307 m (1,007 ft)|
|- elevation||74 m (243 ft)|
|Length||270 km (168 mi)|
|Wikimedia Commons: Avoca River|
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 through Avoca, Charlton and Quambatook. Although the Avoca River Basin is part of the Murray-Darling Basin, the Avoca does not empty into the Murray. Nowhere a large stream, it dwindles as it flows north, eventually terminating in the Kerang Lakes, 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 (the fifth largest in Victoria), most of that area is on the northern plains where rainfall averages only about 350 mm per year, 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. 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, most of it falling in the winter and spring.
Of all the Victorian rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin, the Avoca is the most variable. 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Avoca River.|
- "Rivers - Assessment of River Condition - Victoria". Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- State Water Report 2004/05, retrieved 5 February 2011
- "Water resources - Availability - Victoria". Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- CSIRO (2008). Water availability in the Loddon-Avoca. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project. Retrieved 5 February 2011.