WaterNSW to work with customers to conserve water

14 NOVEMBER 2023

WaterNSW is urging its customers to estimate their water orders as accurately as possible to extend the supply from the state’s major dams as dry conditions cut inflows and an El Nino summer looms.

In regional NSW the total dam volume is at 87% of capacity, representing strong water security, but dam inflows have fallen markedly in 2023, especially in the central and northern inland zones.

The comparatively dry conditions mean that there has been much less rainfall across the catchments, and what rain does fall is absorbed by the dry soil and less likely to generate run-off into dams.

Inflow at key WaterNSW regional dams:

  • Wyangala Dam (94%) on the Lachlan River near Cowra received 4 GL in the month of October, down from a peak of 593 GL in November 2022.
  • Burrendong Dam (79%) on the Macquarie River near Dubbo received 10 GL in October, down from a peak of 839 GL in October 2022.
  • Burrinjuck Dam (88%) on the Murrumbidgee River near Yass received 45 GL in October, down from a peak of 1,116 GL in November 2022.
  • Copeton Dam (82%) on the Gwydir River near Inverell received 4.3 GL in October, down from a peak of 456 GL in October 2022.
  • Keepit Dam (77%) on the Namoi River near Gunnedah received 1 GL in October, down from a peak of 302 GL in October 2022.

WaterNSW General Manager water planning and delivery, Ashley Webb, said WaterNSW had fine-tuned its dam water releases to maximise water availability for farmers, communities and the environment.

“A critical component of this success has been our customers’ ability to be precise with estimating their water requirements, and that co-operation will be critical as we move into an El Nino summer predicted to be hot and dry,” he said.

“Our dam storage levels across NSW are currently very high and in the best possible situation for right now, but it does not mean that we should be complacent.”

“Our preparations also include developing 14 drought management plans across all regional river valleys, implementing new tools to monitor evolving drought conditions, and continuing to focus on the efficiency of our dam operations.

“The community can use digital tools to track storage levels through our WaterInsights interactive online tool.”

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