Menindee releases rise again as inflow total climbs

Menindee releases rise again as inflow total climbs

25 May 2022

WaterNSW will further increase releases from the Menindee lakes system, after modelling indicated a marked rise in the volume of water expected to reach the lakes in coming months.

With the lakes’ total at 113%, inflows exceeding releases, and 80 gigalitres (GL) of available airspace, WaterNSW will transition from airspace operating rules to flood operations to manage the expected inflow.

WaterNSW will increase releases from a rate of 18 gigalitres per day (GL/day) to 23 GL/day to maintain storage capacity and protect infrastructure under rules governing flood operations.

Increases will commence in 0.5 GL increments from Friday (27 May) with the intention of reaching a release rate at Weir 32 of 23 GL/day by early June.

Inflows into the lakes are occurring at 23 GL/day, and the most recent modelling indicates that between 1150 - 1550 gigalitres (GL) is making its way down the Barwon-Darling River from the northern basin.

This is an increase from the most recent estimate of 800 - 1200 GL and results from significant rainfall across the northern basin in Southern Queensland, the Border Rivers and NSW tributaries in recent weeks.

Releases will not increase until Friday to allow for the local community and downstream landholders to be advised by emergency agencies, and to provide time for any Broken Hill residents with property in Menindee to take action to protect assets.

WaterNSW executive manager operations, Ronan Magaharan said the increased inflow projections warrant a transition to flood operation rules.

“With the move into flood operations, the rules allow us to exceed 18 GL/day to maintain airspace and safeguard the lakes’ infrastructure,” he said.

“WaterNSW will work with the Bureau of Meteorology to monitor inflows and river heights, and the NSW State Emergency Services in managing flood impacts.”

A total of approximately 5400 GL has entered the lakes since February 2021, equivalent to more than three times the full storage capacity of the Menindee Lakes.

Access WaterNSW information on Regional Dam levels or river heights and flow data visit WaterInsights

Agency

Information

Website

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)

Weather forecasts and warnings

BOM

NSW State Emergency Service (SES)

Flooding and severe weather warnings and advice

NSW SES

Loading

99.9
Sunday 03 July
3.4
2,614,900 ML
2,618,706 ML
8,668 ML
1,239 ML
89,916 ML
Sunday 03 July