River Murray Ops Update – 24 April

Welcome to the last river ops update for April.

We’ll start by updating you on Easter flows before focussing on how the river’s flowing this week.

Easter flows update

As we had been advising over the past two weeks, river levels in the Murray dropped at Easter.

River flows are naturally low in the Murray at this time of year. In most years, communities benefit from and experience higher river flows as a result of irrigators and water holders having their water delivered.

Hume Dam earlier this month

Hume Dam this month. Photo: MDBA

This year, however, things have been a little different.

Because of the amount of rain that fell through March and April, irrigators and other water holders stopped ordering their water, instead choosing to store their water allocations for later use.

Why does this matter?

Put simply, we can’t send flows down the river unless entitlement holders request it. The water isn’t owned by the MDBA, it’s owned by water entitlement holders – the irrigators, state governments and others.

We manage the river in accordance with an agreement between the NSW, Victorian and SA state governments. We do take recreational activities into account but we are required to maximise water availability for the Basin States and to deliver their water entitlements. The states require us to make sure water is available when water holders call on their water – which means filling the dams when the opportunity arises.

Hume Dam is less than half full at the moment. Letting the water out now could risk the amount of water available in spring and summer.

We’re being very careful because it looks like there could be an El Niño event this year. For Australia, El Niño usually brings below average rainfall. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, about two thirds of El Niño events since 1900 resulted in major drought over large areas of Australia.
Continue reading this week’s river ops update…

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River Murray Ops Update – Easter edition

Many residents of the Basin and beyond were saddened by the news that Henry Jones passed away this week. Henry was a powerful influence on the way Australians view the River Murray, in particular the Lower Lakes and Coorong region of South Australia. Last year Henry was awarded the River Murray Medal in recognition of his personal dedication over the years.

Low flows this Easter

Hume Dam earlier this week

Hume Dam earlier this week. Photo: MDBA

The widespread, soaking rain across the southern Basin this week resulted in a major drop in demands throughout the River Murray system. As a result, the amount of water being released from Dartmouth Dam, Hume Dam and Yarrawonga Weir is currently being reduced towards minimum flow rates to maximise water conservation.

Communities and holiday makers in the reaches immediately below these storages are advised that river levels will be low this Easter holidays. Continue reading the Easter river ops update…

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River Murray Ops Update – 11 April

Welcome to this week’s river ops update.

Storage release rates are relatively low for this time of the year. This means flows upstream of South Australia could be lower than is often seen leading into the Easter and school holiday period.

The widespread rain that has fallen (and continues to fall) over the Murray catchment had made forecasting river levels over the holiday period more difficult.

Paddle steamer Emmylou heading downstream on the Murray

The Emmylou steaming down the Murray. Photo: MDBA

Because of this, Murray River communities and people visiting the region this Easter should keep up to date with river level forecasts.

An easy way of doing this is by keeping an eye on the river flows and levels section on the MDBA website.

River operations

MDBA active storage decreased by 46 GL this week and is currently 4,727 GL or 56% capacity.

Continue reading this week’s river ops update…

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Making Water Scienterrific!

With Term 1 over in some states and close to wrapping up everywhere else, what better time to take a look at what MBDA Education team has been up to this year?

It’s been a busy Term 1 for our education team! They’ve hosted scores of school students as part of the National Youth Science Forum, hosted two students from Toowoomba for the PICSE program and they’ve been putting together this year’s Basin Champions program.

And then there’s our fantastic new app…

Continue reading to find out more…

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Basin Plan Updates Up North

This month, the MDBA will be holding some meetings for communities in the Northern Basin. If you’re in the area, come by to hear the latest on the Basin Plan.

MDBA staff will be there to answer your questions as well as give you more information on Basin Plan-related work. Staff from the Department of the Environment, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines will also be there to keep you updated on their work.

For more information on any of the meetings, feel free to email us or phone 1800 230 067.
For meeting times and locations, read on…

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River Murray Ops Update – 4 April

Welcome to a jam-packed River Ops update! This week, we’ll look ahead to Easter and look back at what March was like in the Basin before getting into the detail of the week in river operations.

Don’t forget to bookmark the MDBA’s live river data section if you want to see the most up-to-date data on storage levels and flows in the River Murray system.

Easter Outlook

We are currently operating to conserve water across the system, which is likely to result in lower releases from upper storages and therefore lower flows in the River Murray over autumn. Continue reading

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River Murray Ops Update – 28 March

Fancy yourself a river operator? Think you’ve got what it takes to manage a river system? Find out with our brand new mobile game, Run the River!

Still from the Run the River game (era 1955)

Can you run this river?

The game, available for free for both Apple and Android devices, challenges you to move water through a river system (one that’s not dissimilar to the Murray-Darling Basin…), while keeping towns, farms and the environment happy. Sound simple? Give it a go and let us know how you did!

River Operations

MDBA active storage decreased by 107 GL this week and is currently 4,813 GL or 57% capacity.
Continue reading the river ops update…

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