River Murray Ops Update – 25 July

Welcome to this week’s River Ops update,

Collings Trophy Winner 2014

The 2014 award for the best maintained asset in the River Murray System was awarded to Lock and Weir 7 – Rufus River.

Congratulations to John Martin, Andrew Cooke, Michael Ricardi and Sid Lawson. The team’s attention to getting the maintenance of the assets ‘right’, particularly the approach to maintenance of older stoplogs gave them the edge over a very close field.

Mildura Weir

  • Work has commenced on the Mildura weir works this week, removing the trestles.
  • Users should expect to see low river levels for the next few weeks.
  • The works are a part of a major work to install mechanised gates.
Lock 7- Rufus River

Lock 7- Rufus River

River Operations

Inflows from the Ovens River over the past week have contributed to the announcement of unregulated flows in the River Murray from Barmah through to the South Australian border (including the Edward River). Within the River Murray system, unregulated flows are defined as flows that are in excess of downstream water demand (including South Australia entitlement), and which cannot be captured within Lake Victoria – the most downstream storage in the system.

Whilst recent conditions throughout the upper Murray system have been reasonably wet, advice from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) indicates a drier than normal August to October period is likely for much of the River Murray region. On the longer term outlook, the majority of climate models assessed by the BoM also suggest a weak El Niño event remains likely for the spring of 2014. MDBA’s river operators monitor these climate outlooks closely and consider a range of possible inflow scenarios for the year ahead. These considerations are factored into the River Murray System Annual Operating Plan, with the latest version for the 2014-15 water year due to be published on the MDBA website next week.

MDBA total storage rose by 208 GL this week, with the active storage now 5,897 GL (70% capacity).

Dam Levels July

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River Murray Ops Update – 18 July

Welcome to this week’s River Ops update.

Mildura Weir Works

  • Lock 11 closed this week in preparation of four weeks work at the Mildura weir.
  • The works are a part of a major work to install mechanised gates.
  • The weir pool will be raised back to full supply level and the lock reopened by mid-August.
  • Updates on the progress of the works will be included in future River Ops reports.

Euston Weir

  • The Euston weir pool will be raised to 0.4 metres above its normal full supply level over the coming weeks.
  • The pool is being filled to help manage the volume of downstream flow in the Murray River while works are taking place on the Lake Victoria outlet regulator.
  • Water will extend beyond the weir pool into the surrounding lakes and creeks, possibly as far as Lake Caringay.

The Living Murray Program

The Living Murray program continues to deliver environmental water to support the ecology of the River Murray.

The water recovery target of 500 gigalitres set in 2003 is almost complete, with 479.9GL of water recovered as of June 2014.

The 2014–15 TLM Annual Environmental Water Plan explains how TLM water will be used across the six icon sites along the Murray.  In the coming year TLM water will be delivered to areas of Hattah Lakes that have not received water in over 20 years.

Information on other planned watering can be found in the report.

 

Scrivener Dam on Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra

Scrivener Dam on Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra

 

River Operations

MDBA total storage increased this week by 161 GL. Active storage is now at 5,687 GL (67% capacity). The continuing increase in stored water has allowed the States to increase Murray Valley water allocations (see allocation details on Page 5).

Total storage in Dartmouth Reservoir increased by 26 GL to 3,561 GL (92% capacity). The flow at Colemans is steady at 200 ML/day. Inflows to Hume Reservoir averaged around 16,600 ML/day with the storage rising 117 GL to 1,819 GL (61% capacity). Release remains at the minimum flow of 600 ML/day. Inflows from the Kiewa River downstream of Hume maintained the flow at Doctors Point at an average of around 4,100 ML/day.

At Lake Mulwala, the pool level is currently 124.73 m AHD. Due to peak inflows from the Ovens River of around 15,000 ML/day, the release at Yarrawonga Weir increased late in the week to 17,700 ML/day. Further increases to the release, up to around 19,000 ML/day, are likely over the next few days. Further downstream, most regulators into the Barmah-Millewa Forest are open as flows are well above the channel capacity of the Barmah Choke.

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River Murray Ops Update – 11 July

Welcome to the River Ops update.

Mildura Weir Works

  • A reminder that Mildura Weir works start next week.
  • Lock 11 will be closed from Tuesday 15 July for about four weeks.
  • The week of 21 July will see the start of the draw down of the Mildura weir pool.

River Operations

MDBA total storage increased this week by 139 GL. Active storage is now at 5,521 GL (65% capacity). Storage in Dartmouth Reservoir increased by 20 GL to 3,535 GL (92% capacity). The flow at Colemans is steady at 200 ML/day.

Lake Hume. Photo: MDBA.

Lake Hume. Photo: MDBA.

Inflows to Hume Reservoir averaged around 16,000 ML/day with the storage rising 107 GL to 1,702 GL (57% capacity). Release remains at the minimum flow of 600 ML/day. Inflows from the Kiewa River downstream of Hume are keeping the flow at Doctors Point averaging around 3,600 ML/day.

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River Murray Ops Update – 4 July

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

June 2014 Summary

Rainfall during June 2014 across the Basin was around average for most areas, with only parts of south-western NSW and inland South Australia recording substantially below average rain. In contrast, the month was relatively wet across central and south-eastern NSW and parts of northern and north-eastern Victoria, with good early winter rain falling over most key upper Murray catchments.

Across the Basin as a whole, the Bureau of Meteorology has reported the Basin’s area-averaged rain at 39.6 mm (18% above the long-term mean). June was also another relatively warm month with temperatures continuing to trend above the long-term average across the entire Basin.

River Murray System inflows for June (excluding Snowy Scheme, Darling River and managed environmental inflows) totalled around 570 GL. This volume was greater than the June 2013 inflows (480 GL), but remained below the long-term average for June, which is about 740 GL.

River Operations

MDBA total storage increased this week by 186 GL. Active storage is now at 5,380 GL (64% capacity), while total inflows to the River Murray System have swollen to around 50,000 ML/day.

Lock open at Goolwa barrages

Lock opening at Goolwa barrages. Photo:MDBA.

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River Murray Ops Update – 27 June

Welcome to the River ops update with a couple of reminders about works and programs.

Mildura weir works

Key reminders:

  • Work on the weir will start the week of 14 July
  • Lock 11 will be closed from 15 July for about 4 weeks
  • The week of 21 July will see the start of the draw down of the Mildura weir pool

Further information will be issued in the next week or two.

MDBA graduate program

Are you interested in working with people from all walks of life, travelling to regional communities, honing your skills on ground-breaking projects, or working on environmental issues?

If so, applications are now open for next year’s graduate program.

Get in quick and see how to apply! Applications close 12 July 2014.

Basin Champions

Wednesday saw the grand finale of the 2014 primary school’s basin champions program.

The high school basin champions program (year 7 – 9) starts in term three with the education team taking registrations now. For further details give the team a call on 02 6279 0500.

River Operations

MDBA total storage rose by 69 GL this week, with the active storage now 5,190 GL or 62%.
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Basin Champions grand finale!

Today marked the grand finale of the 2014 Primary School’s Basin Champions program.
This term, primary school students from a diverse range of basin communities took part in Basin Champions investigations to study the health of their local river. Our champion students had a fantastic time linking up with mentors from the MDBA via weekly videoconference sessions, and learnt about a whole range of ‘basiny’ things like;

  • salinity,
  • river operations,
  • water quality,
  • community economies,
  • water trade,
  • and the fish of the Murray–Darling Basin system.

In today’s final videoconference, some of the students had the opportunity to present the results of their investigations to each other and the MDBA education team and mentors. Students from right across the basin did an awesome job and had clearly learnt heaps about river health and the importance of managing our rivers from top to bottom for the benefit of all.

Basin Champions live on set at Questacon

Basin Champions on set at Questacon

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Att all grads!

Are you interested in working with people from all walks of life, travelling to regional communities, honing your skills on ground-breaking projects, or working on environmental issues?

If so, you’ll find the Murray–Darling Basin Authority offers you all of this and more. In fact, the MDBA grad program has recently been voted as one of the top government grad programs in Australia.

Applications are now open for next year’s program. We take on grads with a huge variety of backgrounds, ranging from journalists, economists, hydrologists, lawyers, community engagement and international relations specialists, and environmental engineers. So, you don’t just need to have a science degree to work here.

We need skills in all of these areas so we can best manage the basin’s rivers and assets, and work with basin communities and governments as we deliver on the latest piece of water reform, the Basin Plan.

Staff and grads at Perry Sandhills

Staff and grads at Perry Sandhills. Photo: MDBA

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