Status report for Menindee Lakes

Status report for Menindee Lakes

Lake Menindee
31 January 2017

WaterNSW manages the Menindee Lakes system to supply licensed customers including Essential Water and lower Darling landholders, as well as ensuring water security for the region. The MDBA calls on water to be released from the lakes as required to contribute to the River Murray System on behalf of Basin governments.

The Menindee lakes system is currently holding approximately 1,347 gigalitres (GL), or 76% of its total capacity. Since 4 January 2017, the total water stored in the lakes has reduced by 160GL, of which 98GL was released to meet downstream demands.

Releases have continued to target 5000ML/d at Weir 32 for the past week. In response to lower than expected demands across the Murray system the MDBA has directed releases to be progressively reduced to 4000 ML/day over four days, commencing Thursday 2 February.

With the Menindee Lakes storage volume expected to reduce below 1,300GL within the next week the target flow to South Australia will reduce by 3,000 ML/d. The MDBA will direct how releases across all Murray System storages, including Menindee lakes, are to be adjusted to most efficiently meet demands  and maximise water availability for entitlement holders.

Lake Pamamaroo 332GL (123%) remains surcharged, while Lake Wetherell holds 176GL (91%), Lake Menindee holds 380GL (58%) and Lake Cawndilla holds about 458GL (70%).

WaterNSW is continuing to source the majority of the release from Lake Menindee, with a smaller amount from Lake Wetherell. This is because the Lake Menindee outlet is currently capacity constrained, and water from Lake Wetherell is required to meet the flow target at Weir 32.

Releases from Lake Wetherell have provided two outcomes: reduced loss to evaporation and protected the health of the floodplain ecosystem that was inundated by the storage being surcharged. WaterNSW has also taken the opportunity to transfer water from Lake Wetherell to Lake Pamamaroo to reduce the  lakes’ total surface area.

WaterNSW is currently assessing the timing for switching releases from the Lake Wetherell outlet to the Lake Pamamaroo outlet, taking in to consideration both long term water availability, and minimisation of evaporation losses.

WaterNSW is continuing to work with the MDBA to plan releases and minimise impacts to long term water availability for Broken Hill town water supply and lower Darling customers, whilst meeting legislative and operational requirements of the Murray – Lower Darling River system.

WaterNSW is also collaborating with NSW DPI Water, the MDBA and OEH on the potential delivery of water to the Darling Anabranch. Primarily flows to the Darling Anabranch are being considered for environmental outcomes, in particular, maximising recent fish breeding outcomes within the Menindee Lakes  system. Assessment of potential resource implications are continuing, with a decision on releases to the Darling Anabranch expected within weeks.

Menindee Storage Levels, inflows, outflows and losses at a glance

Storage

Inflows (ML) from 1 Dec 16 to 25 Jan 17

Volume (ML)

1 Dec 16

Volume (ML)

25 Jan 17

Releases

(ML) from

1 Dec 16 to

25 Jan 17

Evaporation

(ML) from

1 Dec 16 to

25 Jan 17

Lake Wetherell        

208,240        

228,759        

(119%)        

176,442        

(91%)        

84,730        

43,210        

Lake Pamamaroo        

 

351,598        

(130%)        

332,694        

(122.6%)        

0        

27,902        

Lake Menindee        

 

551,327        

(88%)        

380,164        

(58.1%)        

75,910        

62,192        

Lake Cawndilla        

 

291,932        

(42%)        

457,530        

(70.2%)        

0        

40,304        

Total Volume        

208,240        

1,423,617        

(81%)        

1,346,830        

(76.4%)        

160,640        

173,608        

Approximate stream level - stream flow relation for Darling River @ US Weir 32, Pooncarrie and Burtundy

US Weir-32

Pooncarrie

Burtundy

Height (m)        

Flow (ML/day)        

Height (m)        

Flow (ML/day)        

Height (m)        

Flow (ML/day)        

1.34        

200        

1.74        

200        

0.76        

200        

1.41        

300        

1.81        

300        

0.80        

300        

1.52        

500        

1.94        

500        

0.87        

500        

1.72        

1,000        

2.22        

1000        

1.01        

1000        

1.85        

1,500        

2.44        

1500        

1.20        

1500        

1.97        

2,000        

2.63        

2000        

1.41        

2000        

2.15        

3,000        

2.96        

3000        

2.00        

3000        

2.29        

4,000        

3.34        

4000        

2.63        

4000        

2.41        

5,000        

3.77        

5000        

3.17        

5000        

2.54        

6,000        

4.23        

6000        

3.63        

6000        

2.60        

6,500        

4.46        

6500        

3.85        

6500        

Current dam storage information is available on the dam level page of our website.

Contact: Tony Webber

Phone: 0428 613 478

61.1
Friday 14 December
-0.3
1,577,985 ML
2,581,850 ML
11,682 ML
1,669 ML
-4,818 ML
Friday 14 December