Wet August sees Murray dams boost

August rain boosts Murray storages


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August brings relief to Murray storages

Welcome rainfall over southern parts of the Murray-Darling Basin during August has boosted northern Victorian storages, affecting the risk of spill in the Murray system. 

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Northern Victorian resource manager Dr Mark Bailey said the risk of spill in the Murray system remained above the 10 per cent threshold.

RELEASE DECREASE: At Yarrawonga Weir, the release had been decreased to 7500 ML/day.

RELEASE DECREASE: At Yarrawonga Weir, the release had been decreased to 7500 ML/day.

Late last week, Hume Reservoir storage had increased by 41 gigalitres (GL) to stand at  2,702GL, or 90 per cent capacity.

“Victoria’s share of Lake Hume filled in August,” Dr Bailey said.  “This means that Victoria does not have the ability to store additional water that flows into its share of the lake.

“There will be a deduction from spillable water accounts in the Murray system.” 

Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) river management executive director Andrew Reynolds said good rains, which had caused Murray River catchments to fill, followed a relatively dry June and July. 

But while falls were above average for much of northern Victoria, elsewhere in the Basin temperatures were warmer and rainfall was average to below average.

“Across the Basin as a whole, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has reported area-averaged rain totalling 26.4mm,” Mr Reynolds said.

“This is 30 per cent below the long-term average and makes August the 40th driest August in 118 years of records.”

Inflows to the River Murray system during August, excluding Snowy inflows, inflows to the Menindee Lakes, managed environmental flows and inter-valley transfers, totalled 1025GL.

“This was a significant boost in inflows compared with July, although the total still remained below with the long-term August average of 1575 GL,” Mr Reynolds said.

At Yarrawonga Weir, the release had decreased to 7500 ML/day.

“A portion of this flow is meeting an environmental demand that is providing connectivity for in-channel watering of the Barmah-Millewa forest,” Mr Reynolds said.

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