Regional NSW drought information

Regional NSW drought information

Why is the current drought so bad? July 2019 Video

NSW is experiencing one of the most severe droughts on record, with the Central West, Far West and North West regions the worst affected to date.

  • There have been extreme low inflows (the amount of water entering the river and its storages) – the past six months have seen the lowest recorded inflows in history.
  • Effective management of these storages has extended water availability, delaying some of the worst impacts of the drought by up to 12 months.
  • The drought is a natural disaster – it has not been caused by extraction or irrigation.
  • Without imminent inflows, the lack of water will continue to impact water quality and the riverine environment, while curtailing agricultural production.
Critical valley updates

Barwon Darling | Border Rivers (PDF) | Gwydir valley | Lachlan valley (PDF) | Lower-Darling | Namoi valley | Macquarie valley | Murray valley (PDF) | Murrumbidgee valley (PDF) | Peel valley

Valley storage levels

Active capacity volume (updated: 09 December 2019)

4%

Border Rivers

32%

Coastal

7%

Gwydir

42%

Hunter

15%

Lachlan

0.5%

Lower-Darling

9%

Macquarie

43%

Murray

40%

Murrumbidgee

0.9%

Namoi

16%

Peel

WaterNSW is responsible for dam operations, water security and managing water stored in all its 42 water storages. Each valley has different water storage and supply issues in the current drought. Drought continues to impact many farmers, irrigators, and residents who are WaterNSW customers in Western NSW, Greater Sydney as well as the Hunter, Bega, and Iron Pot valleys in coastal NSW.

We are working with local councils and community stakeholders to keep them informed and to seek feedback as we navigate ever-changing drought conditions.

Read our latest report showing recent regional NSW rainfall and storage impact below.

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44.5
Monday 16 December
-0.5
1,155,025 ML
2,596,150 ML
9,379 ML
1,340 ML
-11,927 ML
Monday 16 December