Water Week

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NSW Murrumbidgee Valley Water Report: 27 September 2007 shows Snowy flow-order saved the day

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

The Snowy release to the Murrumbidgee Valley for 2007/2008 was currently less than half of the normal volume. There was little rain fall across the Murrumbidgee Valley in the past 8 weeks and natural inflows into the major storages, Burrinjuck and Blowering dams, have receeded to low levels.
Jindabyne Release

From 15 August to 12 September 2007;

• Canberra received 20 millimetres (mm) of rain;

• Wagga Wagga received 12 mm; and

• Griffith received only 2 mm.

Snowy flows up on 2006: Total inflow into the Murrumbidgee Valley system in August was 62 gigalitres (GL). The inflow to the Snowy Hydro storages has continued to be above the inflows for the same period in 2006. Increased levels in Blowering Dam were largely due to releases from Snowy Hydro into the Murrumbidgee system.

Storage levels as at 12 September 2007:

• Burrinjuck Dam was 423GL, 41 per cent -8; and

• Blowering Dam 482GL, 30 per cent + 7.

Bottom of the barrel: These storage volumes, together with assured inflows from Snowy Hydro and water in downstream storages, represent the total water available to the Murrumbidgee Valley. Allocation announcements were based on this total water availability, together with allowance for river losses, normal end of river system flows, and water already used this year.

Snowy low overall
: A key difference between water availability this year, and water available in other years, was that storage levels in the Snowy Hydro reservoirs were at critical low levels. In a typical year, releases from Snowy Hydro were sufficient to ensure full allocations to all towns and High Security users.

Crisis not averted: The Department of Water and Energy continues to meet regularly with the critical water advisory group to discuss water supply strategies and options for the remainder of 2007/2008 and for 2008/2009.

Snowy flow on 50 pc of normal to Murrumbidgee: On 28 August 2007 Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water, Phil Koperberg, announced that inflows to Snowy Hydro and the Murrumbidgee Valley had been sufficient to increase the allocation to Murrumbidgee High Security licences from 30 per cent to 60 per cent. Whilst contingency water was now no longer necessary, some contingency water will continue to be reserved for intensive livestock and forest industries until High Security water allocations improve.

Water Trading extended for 2007/2008: The requirement for High Security users to complete trades by the end of September 2007 was not required in 2007/2008. All trades entered into after that date will be honoured. Water can be traded into the NSW Murray Valley, without restrictions and to other states, subject to their rules. Water from the Murray and interstate can be traded into the Murrumbidgee Valley, subject to there being a net trade out of the Murrumbidgee. critical water planning for the Murrumbidgee.

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