Valley storage level
Updated: 01 June 2020
The Macquarie Valley is one of the worst affected regions in this severe time of drought with storage currently at critically low levels.
- There have been extreme low inflows (the amount of water entering the Macquarie Valley. Inflows since January 2018 are the lowest recorded inflows in history.
- Stock and Domestic replenishment flows rely on rain and tributary flows and not from Burrendong Dam. This is causing significant social, economic and environmental impacts.
- The drought is a natural disaster – it has not been caused by extraction or irrigation.
- Until 317GL of inflows are received, new allocations to general security users won’t be possible.
Drought response projects
WaterNSW is undertaking a range of drought mitigation projects to extend water supplies to affected communities currently under Stage 4 critical drought conditions. These projects prioritise water supply to meet critical human water needs in the Macquarie Valley.
With recent minor inflows, the bulk water transfer from Windamere Dam to Burrendong Dam has been postponed in-line with updated modelling.
Recent inflows to Burrendong Dam has also meant works to access the deep storage at the dam have been rescheduled. As part of a number of solutions, these works were expected to extend water supply for the Macquarie Valley.
To date, we have completed the upgrade of the power supply to the dam. The temporary floating pumping station will be commissioned by April 2020, however the final earth works will be rescheduled in line with the revised dam depletion forecast. We will continue to monitor the water supply inflows to Burrendong Dam and re-activate the deep storage access project when water levels at the dam decrease below 2.3%.
All works will be in accordance with relevant planning and environmental laws and approvals.
Community presentations and updates
While water storage in the Macquarie valley remains at critically low levels, we will update you as news comes in via our media releases and water operations updates. This will be in addition to our monthly Regional NSW drought report.