It’s that time of the week again – time for the River Murray Ops Update. Do you just read the blog post? Or do you also grab a copy of the full River Murray Weekly Report (where you can find data on river levels and flows, salinity and water in storages)? Let us know in the comment section, below (help is at hand if you’re not quite sure how to do that).
MDBA active storage increased by 138 GL this week and is now 7,764 GL (90%). At Dartmouth Reservoir, the storage volume increased by 34 GL to 3,304 GL (86% capacity). The release, measured at Colemans remains at 200 ML/day. At Hume Reservoir, the storage increased by 79 GL to 2,826 GL (94% capacity). Inflows this week have averaged almost 15,000 ML/day and the release has been increased to 4,000 ML/day to manage airspace in the storage. The release is expected to remain at around 4,000 ML/day over the coming days but may be increased further during the next few weeks depending on rainfall and inflows.
At Yarrawonga, the level of Lake Mulwala is currently 124.78 m AHD. The release at Yarrawonga Weir has been increased during the week and is currently 8,000 ML/day. The pool may rise to above 124.8 m AHD during the coming week. The release is expected to remain fairly steady over the coming days but releases further out will depend on rainfall with some precipitation expected across the catchments in the week ahead.
On the Edward-Wakool System, flow through the Edward and Gulpa offtakes is currently 200 and 80 ML/day respectively. At Stevens Weir the release is being maintained at 400 ML/day to assist works on the new fishway. Downstream on the Wakool River, the flow at Kyalite has receded to 2,100 ML/day down from the early April peak of almost 18,000 ML/day.
On the Goulburn River, the flow at McCoys has eased from 2,000 to 1,500 ML/day. The flow is expected to rise back towards 2,000 ML/day in the coming days. At Torrumbarry Weir, the flow is currently 6,200 ML/day and the pool is at the operating target of 86.05 m AHD. The downstream flow should increase steadily this week as higher flows arrive from upstream.
On the Murrumbidgee River, the flow at Balranald receded from 8,700 to 6,300 ML/day this week, but is now fairly steady. The flow is expected to increase slightly in the week ahead. At Euston, the flow decreased to 15,700 ML/day but has remained fairly steady during the last couple of days. The flow should fall away slowly in the coming week.
At the Menindee Lakes, inflow has dropped away further with the average being about 1,200 ML/day during the last week. Total storage volume decreased by 18 GL to 1,901 GL (110% capacity). Release from Menindee Lakes (measured at Weir 32) has been decreased to 2,400 ML/day and will continue to be reduced by around 250 ML/day each day over the coming week. Downstream on the lower Darling River, the flow at Burtundy continues to fall away, with the flow decreasing from 11,600 to 6,300 ML/day.
At Wentworth, the Murray receded to 21,200 ML/day and will continue decreasing over the coming week. At Lake Victoria, the storage volume increased by 42 GL during the week and is now at 407 GL (60%). The flow to South Australia decreased to 19,500 ML/day and a slow recession expected from now on will provide ‘unregulated flows’ into South Australia for at least another month.
On the lower Murray, flows have now decreased sufficiently to require the reinstatement of all navigable passes, with Lock 7 being the final one to go in during the last week. All weir pools are now being regulated and additional stop logs will be put in place as the flow continues to fall away in the weeks ahead.
At the Lower Lakes, operational requirements coinciding with a period of favourable tide and wind conditions have presented an opportunity to decrease lake levels and pass higher salinity water out of Lake Albert. The 5 day average level for Lake Alexandrina decreased to 0.63 m AHD (12 cm below full supply). Levels in the Lower Lakes should decrease at a slower rate in the coming days before they are increased again in the weeks ahead.