Dry June also affects catchments


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Much needed rain fell in the south-eastern Murray-Darling Basin catchments, after June’s dry spell.

Much needed rain fell in the south-eastern Murray-Darling Basin catchments in early July, after June’s dry spell.

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Murray Darling Basin Authority River Management executive director David Dreverman said Murray River inflows, (excluding the Snowy Scheme, Darling River and managed environmental flows) totalled around 161 Gigalitres (GL).

“That was well below the month’s long term average of 724 GL,” Mr Dreverman said

“In comparison with the historical record since 1891, only around six per cent of years have experienced lower inflows in June than the inflows observed in June 2017.”

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) reported area-averaged rainfall across the Murray-Darling Basin in June was 11mm.

It was the equal fourth driest for the Basin in 118 years of records.

High pressure systems, which had meant Victoria was drier than average, had also robbed catchment areas of rain.

“The month contrasted strongly with one year ago, with conditions during June 2016 mostly very wet over much of Queensland, NSW and eastern Victoria,” Mr Dreverman said.

The rain brought a rise in storage levels.

Late last week, MDBA total storage rose by 40 GL week, with the active storage now at 5,676 GL or 69pc capacity.

Goulburn-Murray Water reported earlier this week, Dartmouth Reservoir stood at 3,021,777 GL, or 78.36 per cent of its capacity. 

Hume Dam stood at 71.87pc, or  2,159,744 GL, up 1.2pc on the previous week.

The level, at the same time last year, was 44.31pc of capacity.

“Increases to Hume storage have been driven by the consistently high releases from the Snowy Hydro Scheme,” Mr Dreverman said.

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