Menindee lakes’ releases rise as inflow forecast climbs

Menindee lakes’ releases rise as inflow forecast climbs

09 December 2021

Releases from Menindee lakes will continue to increase as preliminary modelling indicates that recent northern basin rain events could generate inflows well in excess of 1000 gigalitres over summer.

Releases in recent weeks that have reduced the storage volume back to approximately 106% will increase to 17 gigalitres per day (GL/day) by the weekend (11/12 December) and may rise further.

Forecast estimates from flows in the Namoi valley, Border Rivers and Southern Queensland tributaries indicate that up to 1800GL could potentially be making its way down the Barwon-Darling system during summer, even without further rain.

By reducing the storage down from a level of 112% in October, WaterNSW has created capacity to capture 200GL of this additional inflow.

In line with operational requirements the lakes’ storage should be at full supply level (100%) by the end of December, which would generate 300GL of flood surcharge capacity.

The flows into the lakes this year are already the largest in a decade and have filled the lakes network for the first time since 2011-12.

The Bureau of Meteorology has announced an increased likelihood of a La Nina weather phenomenon for Summer, raising the prospect of rainfall across the northern basin generating further inflows in the months ahead.

Executive Manager System Operations, Adrian Langdon, said WaterNSW is working with the respective NSW Government authorities and community reference groups to manage the lakes.

“At present the lakes are above full supply level and into the flood surcharge zone. By reducing the current storage level we will meet our obligations under the operating rules, and also create capacity to capture at least some of the next inflows,” he said. ·

For more information on WaterNSW storages visit our Regional Dams page or for information on river heights and flow data visit: WaterInsights

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Tuesday 18 January