Windamere-Burrendong water transfer info session planned

Windamere-Burrendong water transfer info session planned

08 January 2020

WaterNSW will meet with stakeholders in the Cudgegong valley next week to keep them abreast of plans to transfer water from Windamere to Burrendong dam to secure vital supply in the Macquarie valley.

The meeting with Cudgegong valley customers will be held on Thursday, 16 January, between 9am-12noon at The Stables adjacent to the Mid-Western Regional Council in Market Street.

The transfer to Burrendong via the Cudgegong River is one of the measures intended to secure town supply and other critical needs in the Macquarie valley.

Burrendong Dam is currently at 1.8% of capacity and experiencing acute drought conditions, with chronically low inflows in the past 12 months and a predicted storage capacity of 1.2% by the end of January.

At this stage it is intended that the bulk water transfer will occur in early February, with the volume expected to be up to 25 gigalitres (GL).

Under the existing bulk water transfer protocol – and the terms of the Macquarie-Cudgegong water sharing plan - at least 70GL must be retained in Windamere Dam, which currently sits at 27% of capacity. WaterNSW modelling indicates 70GL will provide at least five years of water security to Cudgegong water users.

The Windamere transfer is one of the final measures in a drought response strategy that has involved gradually restricted access to users and suspending environmental releases and carryover, as unprecedented drought conditions impacted on dam inflows. The Macquarie River’s long term annual average inflow is 1450GL. In the five months from 1 July it received just 5GL.

Other measures have included preparing to pump remnant storage once Burrendong’s water level falls below 0%, as well as cutting flows to creeks in the lower reaches of the system. As the latest such initiative the flows past the Gunningbar weir ceased from 10 December.

WaterNSW has been regularly updating Mid-western Regional Council and the Cudgegong valley water security committee on the drought operation of Cudgegong and Macquarie rivers.

The last bulk water transfer between the two dams occurred in January 2019, with the intended delivery of 35GL being stopped at 10GL after a rain event resulted in inflows to Burrendong.

WaterNSW will continue to review the need for any further bulk water transfers and keep the communities informed. For WaterNSW drought management information visit: www.waternsw.com.au/supply/drought-information

Media Contact – Tony Webber 0428 613 478.

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42.6
Wednesday 22 January
-0.1
1,105,470 ML
2,596,150 ML
8,510 ML
1,216 ML
-1,478 ML
Wednesday 22 January