River Murray operations 13-20 May

Welcome to our weekly report of river operations on the Murray including rainfall, inflows and operations for the river week ending 20 May.

Rainfall

Conditions were dry and mild over the Murray-Darling Basin this week until a low pressure system crossed the region bringing rain and storms during the last few days.

The wettest locations were in South Australia, across the south-east ranges and through the NSW Central Tablelands. The northern basin stayed mostly dry. See the full report for rainfall figures in specific areas.

The regulating pondage downstream of Dartmouth Reservoir was lowered during the week, prior to the current high flows, for maintenance works. Photo courtesy of Peter Liepkalns at Goulburn-Murray Water.

The regulating pondage downstream of Dartmouth Reservoir was lowered during the week, prior to the current high flows, for maintenance works. Photo courtesy of Peter Liepkalns at Goulburn-Murray Water.

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River Murray operations 6-13 May

Welcome to our weekly report of river operations on the Murray including rainfall, inflows and operations for the river week ending 13 May.

Rainfall and inflows

During the week, a series of cold fronts brought rain to the southern Murray-Darling basin, with the highest totals over the south-east ranges (see figures in the full report). Across the northern Basin, conditions were mostly dry.

Stream flow responses in the upper tributaries were modest following the rain, yet many sites recorded their highest flows of the year so far.

rainfall map 13May2014

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The River Murray in April 2015

We manage the River Murray on behalf of basin governments and have been doing so for nearly 100 years.

This responsibility is the reason for our live river data, our weekly reports on river operations and other river info, and our many #riverops updates to media, facebook and twitter.

On the first weekly report of each month, our river operators look back at the month that came before so here’s our rundown on the River Murray in April 2015.

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River Murray operations 29 April-6 May

Welcome to our weekly report of river operations on the Murray including rainfall, inflows and operations for the river week ending 6 May.

At the beginning of each month, these reports also look back at conditions over the previous month. See our rundown on the River Murray in April 2015.

Rainfall

There were wet conditions over parts of the northern Murray-Darling Basin this week as on-shore winds and a trough off Australia’s east coast generated further heavy rain across parts of Queensland and NSW.

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River Murray operations 22-29 April

Welcome to our weekly report of river operations on the Murray including rainfall, inflows and operations for the river week ending 29 April.

Live river data improved

It’s accessed by 100,000 people a year so we’ve given our online river data a major facelift and made it compatible with smartphones and tablets.

A dedicated site now matches current and historic river data using an interactive map showing information from more than 60 places on the River Murray system. View the new webpage for information on storage levels, river heights, water release rates and salinity data and we welcome feedback.

Rainfall

A cold front and associated low pressure system traversed south-eastern Australia this week bringing rainfall to southern parts of the Murray-Darling Basin. The system also heralded the arrival of cooler southerly winds but delivered little or no rain to northern areas.

The highest weekly rain totals were recorded over the south-east ranges and in South Australia (more detail in the full river ops report).

Drying banks of lock eight (source Scott Jaensch, April 2015).

Drying banks of lock eight (source Scott Jaensch, April 2015).

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River Murray Ops Update – 24 April

Welcome to our weekly report of river operations on the Murray which covers rainfall, inflows and operations for the river week ending 22 April.

Rainfall

Wet conditions returned to the Murray-Darling Basin this week with significant rainfall across many regions, particularly throughout the southern Basin. The rain was associated with a surface trough that extended north-south along the entire length of the Basin. As the trough tracked eastwards it combined with a cold front pushing up from the Southern Ocean, delivering moderate to heavy rainfall across eastern South Australia, southern New South Wales and north-eastern Victoria. When this complex system reached the NSW coast, it intensified into an east coast low, producing very heavy rainfall and strong winds east of the great divide, as well as some moderate rainfall inland around the Macquarie-Castlereagh catchment.

The pattern of rainfall in this event was very similar to an event almost exactly one year ago in April 2014. As was the case with the 2014 event, this week’s rain has dramatically reduced the demand for irrigation water throughout the Murray system. Rainfall totals are provided in the full river ops report. Continue reading the update…

The role of forecasts in operating the Murray

Weather has a major influence on river operations.

This can be quite evident after significant rainfall events or hot spells but when managing the River Murray, MDBA considers a wide range of forecasts over short, intermediate to long term time periods.

In a recent weekly report, our river operators discussed some examples of the current Bureau of Meteorology outlooks and how they are being factored into our operations of the River Murray.

We have reproduced this excerpt of the report as an interesting insight into how we run the river.

Storms gather along the Murrumbidgee (source Russell James, MDBA).

Storms gather along the Murrumbidgee (source Russell James, MDBA).

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