With airspace gained, WaterNSW cuts releases as rain looms

With airspace gained, WaterNSW cuts releases as rain looms

03 September 2021

WaterNSW will today cut releases at the dams expected to receive the highest volume of inflows from the weekend rain event forecast for much of the state.

With multiple rain events increasing storage levels across the state in recent weeks, dams in the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee valleys are expected to receive the most inflows from rainfall expected to start tomorrow (Saturday).

WaterNSW will reduce releases from Wyangala, Blowering and Burrinjuck dams to minimal levels today after predictions from the Bureau of Meteorology for a large rise in downstream tributary flows in those systems.

In consultation with regional airspace advisory panels, WaterNSW made airspace releases following recent rain, to reduce storage levels while minimising downstream impacts, to maximise available storage capacity to receive the anticipated rise in inflows.

By releasing water between rain events WaterNSW has reduced storage levels at key dams to: Wyangala 94.5%, Blowering 93.9% and Burrinjuck 92.3%.

According to the Bureau the highest likelihood is a rain event that will generate sufficient inflows to fill Wyangala and increase storage levels in the Murrumbidgee, as well as Keepit dam (95.8%) on the Namoi River and Burrendong dam (98.7%) on the Macquarie.

But if predictions at the higher end of the forecast are realised, both Wyangala and Burrinjuck storages could fill and spill.

WaterNSW will meet with the Bureau of Meteorology this afternoon and over the weekend to monitor the weather forecast, and track inflows to dams in the priority valleys.

With the Bureau of Meteorology continuing to forecast a climate outlook that “indicates rainfall over the coming three months likely to be above average”, WaterNSW will continue to make airspace releases as required to manage storage levels in consultation with local airspace reference panels including local councils and landholders.

WaterNSW advises landholders and the public to monitor advice from the Bureau of Meteorology regarding changing river heights and the need for precautions with livestock and infrastructure.

To access WaterNSW information on river heights and flow data visit: WaterInsights

Media contact – Tony Webber 0428 613 478

Further Information

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) - Weather forecasts and warnings

NSW State Emergency Service (SES) - Flooding and severe weather warnings and advice

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Monday 20 September
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Monday 20 September