River Murray Ops Update – 21 November

Welcome to our River ops update.

River operations

MDBA total storage fell by 95 GL this week, with the active storage now 5,845 GL (69% capacity).This is around 800 GL below the long-term average active storage volume for November.

At Dartmouth Reservoir, the storage volume has decreased by 26 GL to 3,458 GL (90% capacity). Release, measured at Colemans, was increased to 7,000 ML/day during the week as bulk transfers to Hume storage continued. This higher release is expected to continue through into December.

At Hume Reservoir, the storage volume fell 57 GL to 2,008 GL (67% capacity) with releases reducing to around 11,800 ML/day due to reduced irrigation demand.

Greens Swamp in Gunbower Forest

Greens Swamp in Gunbower Forest. Photo: MDBA.

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River Murray Ops Update – 14 November

Welcome to this week’s River ops update.

River operations

MDBA total storage fell by 120 GL this week, with the active storage now 5,927 GL (70% capacity).

At Dartmouth Reservoir, the storage volume has decreased by 25 GL to 3,484 GL (90% capacity). The release, measured at Colemans, was reduced to 3,000 ML/day early in the week for works in the Mitta Mitta reach. Releases are expected to begin increasing to 7,000 ML/day on the weekend.

At Hume Reservoir, the storage volume fell 82 GL to 2,065 GL (69% capacity) with releases averaging over 16,000 ML/day.

At Yarrawonga Weir, the total daily diversion through Mulwala Canal averaged 5,000 ML/day of which around 1,600 ML/day was diverted through Edward escape for delivery to Lake Victoria. Yarrawonga Main Channel averaged around 1,700 ML/day over the week. The release downstream of Yarrawonga Weir has been reduced by 300 ML/day to 10,000 ML/day ahead of the rain to reduce the likelihood of undesirable wetting of the Barmah-Millewa Forest.

On the Edward River system, the combined flow through the Edward and Gulpa offtakes is just over 1,900 ML/day. Diversions to the Wakool Main Canal are currently 950 ML/day. The flow downstream of Stevens Weir is near channel capacity at over 2,500 ML/day with the addition of water from the Edward escape.

Khancoban spillway

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River Murray Ops Update – 7 November

Welcome to this week’s River ops update which includes a summary of conditions over the past month.

October 2014 Summary

Conditions were very dry during October for most of the Murray-Darling Basin. Rain totals were typically below to very much below average across most areas with some parts of the western Basin recording no rain at all for the month. Across the Basin as a whole, the Bureau of Meteorology has reported area-averaged rain totalling just 12.1 mm. This is 70% below the long-term mean and the 8th driest October in 115 years of record.

Coupled with the low rainfalls, maximum temperatures were very much above average, with a considerable portion of the Basin recording highest temperatures on record for October. Both NSW and South Australia recorded their highest daily mean temperature on record for October.

River Murray System inflows (excluding Snowy Scheme, Darling River and managed environmental inflows) continued to trend well below the long-term average during October, with the monthly volume decreasing to around 320 GL. This is well short of the long-term October average of around 1,400 GL and follows the relatively low inflow volume recorded in September.

River below Khancoabn spilway Continue reading the update…

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River Murray Ops Update – 31 October

Welcome to this week’s River Ops update.

MDBA total storage decreased by 133 GL this week, with the active storage now 6,130 GL (73% capacity).

At Dartmouth Reservoir, the current storage volume is 3,538 GL (92% capacity) which is a decrease of 36 GL since last week. The release from Dartmouth was increased to 7,000 ML/day at Colemans gauge late last week, but will be gradually reduced to 3,000 ML/day in the coming week. These high releases are transferring water to Hume Reservoir to assist with meeting downstream demand.

At Hume Reservoir, the storage volume decreased by 64 GL to 2,198 GL (73% capacity). The release during the past week has varied between 17,000 and 19,000 ML/day. Releases of around 16,000 ML/day are anticipated for the coming week.

At Yarrawonga Weir, the level of Lake Mulwala is around 124.8 m AHD and the release remains at 10,300 ML/day. This flow is maintaining the Barmah Choke at close to capacity, with additional water flowing downstream via the Edward Escape from Mulwala Canal. Diversions through Yarrawonga Main Channel and Mulwala Canal totalled 61 GL during the week – slightly more than last week.

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Basin collaboration inspires US student


An international student was inspired to work at the MDBA this year to find out how our state and federal governments are working together to fix the health of the Murray–Darling Basin.

This idea of cross-border cooperation over water management was new to Yale student Michelle Camp.

“I wanted to see firsthand the integrated approach taken here. The relationship between the states in Australia is unlike that in America,” Michelle said.

“The main difference between the management of the Colorado River and that of the Murray–Darling Basin is collaboration.”

The Colorado Basin and the Murray–Darling Basin have many things in common—climate, semi-arid terrain, variable rainfall, high agricultural output and millions of people to support. And like the Murray–Darling, the Colorado flows within just one country but across numerous state borders.

Unlike the Murray–Darling Basin though, the Colorado is not run as a single system. It has multiple dams and channels operated independently by the seven states it runs through, whereas Murray–Darling asset management is coordinated by a central agency – the MDBA.

The desire to learn how the MDBA carries out this role spurred Michelle to get in touch.

“I wanted to learn about and contribute to water management at an organisation that is widely considered to be the world leader,” she said.

“Internationally, the management of the Murray–Darling Basin is seen as highly progressive, in that it has the environment as one of its key focuses.”

While at the MDBA Michelle spent time learning about stakeholder engagement, water resource planning and environmental water planning.

Michelle is now back at Yale, working on her Master of Environmental Management thesis. Once she’s earned her degree, she plans to work on sustainable water management for her home state of Texas, guided by the MDBA’s work in the Murray–Darling Basin.

Michelle Camp holding a wombat. Photo: MDBA.

Michelle Camp holding a wombat. Photo: MDBA.

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River Murray Ops update – 24 October

Hello and welcome to this week’s River Ops update.

It happens to be National Water Week – so we hope you’ve charged your glasses!

To celebrate, we introduced a robot to students from different parts of the Basin and took them on a tour at the National Museum of Australia - while the students were still in their classrooms.

Will and robot in full

MDBA’s Will Inveen speaks via a robot to basin students.

The robot gave students an interactive, customised tour of exhibits about the Basin, from the variability of water over 300,000 years, to water quality and its role in where people settle and what they do for work.

_DSC3709

The students’ view through the robot lens.

To find out about future tours email education@mdba.gov.au and visit education@MDBA.

River Operations

The main points this week are

  • system inflows for October are tracking well below average
  • releases from Hume Reservoir increased to meet downstream demands
  • the pulse of environmental water enters the River Murray from the Goulburn.

MDBA total storage decreased by 107 GL this week, with the active storage now 6,254 GL (74% capacity). Inflows to the Murray system so far in October continue to track well below the long-term average (see graph on page six of this report).

At Dartmouth Reservoir, the storage volume decreased 24 GL to 3,575 GL (93% capacity). The release is steady at 5,500 ML/day as water is transferred downstream to Hume Reservoir.

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River Murray Ops Update – 17 October

Welcome to this week’s River Ops update.

Tuppal Food and Fibre Festival

Today kicked off the start of the Tuppal Food and Fibre Festival, 17 – 19 October. If you are visiting the festival the MDBA education team is hosting a stand. Drop by and have a go at some of the fun water activities and tests.

River Operations

MDBA active storage has decreased to 6,354 GL (75% capacity), with a reduction in total storage this week of 67 GL.

At Dartmouth Reservoir, storage has decreased by 21 GL to 3,598 GL (93% capacity). The release at Colemans has been gradually reduced this week to 3,500 ML/day but is forecast to be increased to 5,500 ML/day by the end of day. These bulk transfers of water from Dartmouth aim to ensure there is sufficient water in Hume Reservoir during summer and autumn to meet the demands of downstream users. For more information, see our flow advice.

The storage volume at Hume Reservoir fell by 22 GL to 2,320 GL (77% capacity). Inflows averaged about 11,000 ML/day during the week while releases have now increased to 16,500 ML/day. Releases in the coming week are also expected to average around 16,500 ML/day.

Shevy's photo - near murray mouth sept 2014 Continue reading the update…

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