Menindee Lakes prepares for more Barwon Darling inflows

Menindee Lakes prepares for more Barwon Darling inflows

24 March 2022

WaterNSW is scheduling releases from the Menindee Lakes to manage storage levels in anticipation of a large volume of inflow from the Northern basin in coming months.

Heavy rainfall in Southern Queensland has resulted in more high flows across the Barwon Darling River system, with a further 500-800 gigalitres (GL) of inflow expected to enter the lakes by the end of May.

The total lakes’ storage is currently at 106% of capacity. Releases continue with the intention of creating as much capacity within the lakes to safely capture the expected inflows and ensure that the water level across the system remains at levels that minimise potential impacts to people or property.

WaterNSW intends to have the combined storage between 112% to 114% of capacity by the end of this inflow event. Since February 2021, inflows of 4518 GL have arrived at Menindee Lakes.

Significant inflows from Border and Moonie Rivers are already making their way into the upper reaches of the Barwon-Darling system, with additional inflow from the Culgoa River anticipated in the near future.

Releases downstream of weir 32 are being scaled back from a rate of 6.7 gigalitres per day (GL/day) to 4 GL/day. Releases from Cawndilla – currently at 1.8 GL/day – will be increased to 2 GL/day for up to six weeks.

Menindee Lakes volumes/%

  Volume GL % Full
Lake Wetherell 159 82
Lake Pamamaroo 337 121
Lake Menindee 668 106
Lake Cawndilla 660 105
Menindee Lakes total storage 1824 105

WaterNSW will continue to work with local advisory groups, the MDBA, the NSW State Emergency Service and the Bureau of Meteorology to ensure the effective management of the storage and releases.

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