River Murray Ops Update 26 June

Welcome to our weekly River Ops update.

River operations

MDBA total storage increased by 79 GL this week, with the active storage now 4,033 GL or 48% capacity.

At Dartmouth Reservoir, the storage volume decreased by 2 GL to 2,832 GL (73% capacity). Bulk transfer releases continue from Dartmouth to Hume Reservoir, although the flow at Colemans was reduced from 2,600 ML/day to 2,000 ML/day. The release is planned to continue decreasing until the weekend before increasing to around 4,500 ML/day, for more details see the latest Mitta Mitta flow advice.

At Hume Reservoir, the storage level increased by 56 GL to 957 GL (32% capacity). The release of environmental water from Hume commenced this week and is expected to continue over the coming months. The water is being released on behalf of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and will remain well below normal summer rates but is likely to rise and fall to mimic natural flows expected at this time of year. The release is currently 3,300 ML/day and expected to rise to around 4,500 ML/day in the coming week and updates will continue to be provided over the coming months.

Dense mats of the aquatic weed Egeria densa lie exposed to drying and frost on the lake bed following the drawdown of Lake Mulwala.

Dense mats of the aquatic weed Egeria densa lie exposed to drying and frost on the lake bed following the drawdown of Lake Mulwala (Photo: Peter Shaw, MDBA).

The water level in Lake Mulwala is currently 3.1 m below the normal operating level to allow structural works at Yarrawonga Weir and the lake foreshore, and to manage the aquatic weed Egeria densa. Lowering the Lake level every few years exposes the Egeria to drying and frost, and is considered the most effective management option available.

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River Murray Ops Update 19 June

Welcome to this week’s River Ops update.

River operations

MDBA total storage increased by 71 GL this week, with the active storage now 3,956 GL or 47% capacity.

At Dartmouth Reservoir, the storage volume decreased by 13 GL to 2,835 GL (74% capacity). Bulk transfer releases continue from Dartmouth to Hume Reservoir, although the flow at Colemans was reduced from 3,400 ML/day to 2,650 ML/day. The release is planned to continue decreasing and is likely to be below 2,000 ML/day in about a week’s time before increasing again in late June.

At Hume Reservoir, the storage level increased by 47 GL to 854 GL (30% capacity). The release from Hume remains at the minimum flow of 600 ML/day. Downstream at Doctors Point, the flow has averaged just under 2,000 ML/day.

The water level in Lake Mulwala remained close to the current drawdown target of 121.2 m AHD throughout the week. This level is about 3.5 m below the normal operating level, and the drawdown is planned to continue until mid-July, prior to refilling the lake in preparation for the commencement of the irrigation season in August. The release from Yarrawonga Weir averaged 3,100 ML/day. However, the release will decrease to 2,000 ML/day during the next few days to facilitate maintenance works planned for several regulating structures at downstream locations in the coming weeks. This flow reduction will cause a temporary rise of about 0.5 m in Lake Mulwala over the coming weekend before higher releases can recommence.

Road users and the community are also advised that the road way across Yarrawonga Weir will be temporarily closed on Tuesday 23 June due to works activities. It is expected that public access to the road will be restricted until at least mid-afternoon.

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River Murray operations 3-10 June

Welcome to our weekly report of river operations on the Murray including rainfall, inflows and operations for the river week ending 10 June.

Rainfall and inflows

It was a relatively dry week over the Murray-Darling Basin. There were moderate rainfall totals reported in Victoria along the southern divide with the passage of weak frontal systems. Totals were mostly less than 10 mm further inland through southern NSW, northern Victoria and in South Australia. The northern Basin remained mostly dry.

The week’s highest rain totals fell over the Victorian Alps. There was a slow recession in stream flows along the upper Murray tributaries this week. See full report for figures.

Daybreak on the Great Darling Anabranch, just upstream of the confluence with the River Murray (Courtesy: Sean Kelly, MDBA)

Daybreak on the Great Darling Anabranch, just upstream of the confluence with the River Murray (Courtesy: Sean Kelly, MDBA)

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How the river rolled in 2014-15

Our river operators have gone back over conditions in the last year to tell us how the river rolled in 2014-15.

The summary below is an excerpt from this week’s river operations report for the River Murray.

Interested also in our look back at May 2015? See the blog.

Looking for detailed rainfall, inflows, storage and operations for the river week ending 3 June 2015 including data, graphs and maps? Or even the latest on works at Yarrawonga and Mildura? Have a read of our full weekly report.

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The River Murray in May 2015

In 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 May 2015.

Interested also in our look back on the 2014-15 water year? See our blog.

Looking for detailed rainfall, inflows, storage and operations for the river week ending 3 June 2015? Have a read of our full weekly report.

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Salinity: planning for success

These days, salinity rarely rates a mention in the headlines of the Murray-Darling Basin. Even though salt remains one of the key challenges facing water users and the environment, it’s taken a back seat thanks to successful long-term planning.

For 30 years, the Australian Government and basin states have been working together to manage salinity, and we’ve seen some great results.

Close up of salt crystals, Buronga, NSW. Photo: Arthur Mostead

Close up of salt crystals, Buronga, NSW. Photo: Arthur Mostead

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An open letter to grads

Are you interested in…

  • Being on the cutting-edge of balancing environmental work with social and economic change or working in one of the world’s most developed water markets?
  • Managing environmental resources that cross boundaries and interests (including industries and people)?
  • Talking to people and hearing firsthand the impact of your work?
  • Delivering a long-term, evidence-based and high-profile plan to make a difference to the environment?
  • Seeing and measuring the results of your work?
  • Challenging the status quo to ask and answer big questions like can we adjust how much water we return to the environment or use water more carefully?

If you said yes to any of this, we need you in our 2016 grad program.

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