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Water wizards tell Ministers how to ensure enough Murray Darling water for critical needs in 2008-09

Posted by waterweek on 9 October 2007

The Murray-Darling Basin Dry Inflow Contingency Planning; Overview Report to First Ministers, September 2007 was a report in which the Senior Officials’ Group listed five principles to underpin measures (including the possibility of a reserve) to ensure there is enough water available to run the river and for critical needs in 2008-09. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, Drought, Murray Darling Basin, River Murray, SA, Security, South Australia, Town Water, Victoria, Water Security, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Increase for high security irrigators in the Murrumbidgee Valley as Snowy Jindabyne release arrives

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

The Department of Water and Energy, on 2 October 2007 advised High security licence holders within the Murrumbidgee Regulated Water Sharing Plan area were advised of an increase in available water determination (AWD) from 60 per cent to 75 per cent of entitlement.

Town water increased to 70 per cent: The AWD for Stock and Domestic licence holders had also increased from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of entitlement and town water supplies has been increased to 70 per cent. These improvements were due in part to additional water from the Snowy Mountains Scheme which can now be delivered into the Murrumbidgee, and in part to inflows into Burrinjuck Dam which have receded more slowly than anticipated.

End of monthly allocations of critical survival water: This increase triggered the end of monthly allocations of critical survival water for high security users, however there was currently still not enough water for an allocation to be made for general security users. High security licence holders may carry over up to 15 per cent of their unused entitlement into the 2008/09 season. Recent rain in the region is still well below average. All water users need to remain conservative with water use and encouraged to remain on level 3a water restrictions., Further information relating to the water availability in the Murrumbidgee Valley will be made on the 15th of each month via the Murrumbidgee Critical Water Communiques.
These communiques are available from the Departments website http://www.dnr.nsw.gov.au via Whats New on the homepage.

Posted in Allocations, Irrigation, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, River Murray, SA, South Australia, Town Water, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Murray Darling Report 26 September: Failure of winter and spring rainfall

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

The failure of winter and spring rainfall was a disaster for the Murray Darling Basin, after successive years of drought. Water to Adelaide was so salted as to be of little value, and over 300 towns had no water, or severe water restrictions. Flow was down to 800 ML/day to Adelaide. “Very high salinities of around 13 000 EC continue to be recorded in the Goolwa channel upstream of the Goolwa Barrage”. David Dreverman General Manager of Murray river systems, in the Report For The Week Ending Wednesday, 26 September 2007, published 28 September, 2007 he said “very little rain fell over the Basin this past week, with the highest falls being in South Australia.

River Murray continues decline: Along the Lower Murray there was 17 mm at Tailem Bend and 9 mm at Waikerie. Due to dry conditions in the catchment area, inflows to the River Murray System continue to gradually decline”.

River Operations: Release from Dartmouth remains steady at 200 ML/day and the storage volume has increased from 656 to 664 ML/day (17 per cent of capacity).

Snowy releases increase flows: Hume storage also continues to slowly rise primarily due to release from the Snowy Mountains Scheme via Murray 1 power station – and has increased from 844 to 857 GL (28.2 per cent of capacity)., Release from Hume reservoir has been increased to 2500 ML/day to target a flow of 4000 ML/day at Albury/Wodonga. This rise will meet increasing downstream needs and will allow a further small rise in the level of Lake Mulwala.

Lake Mulwala storage: Lake Mulwala has been raised from 123.7 to 123.8 m AHD over the past week and will reach about 124 m AHD by early October. It is expected that levels will remain at about this level over coming weeks but will be subject to changes in weather and demand conditions. Release from Lake Mulwala has been increased from 2600 to 3000 ML/day in order to boost declining river flows further downstream.

Torrumbarry Weir storage: Torrumbarry Weir pool is being used as a mid river storage and is currently being drawn upon to increase flows downstream until the higher flows from Lake Mulwala arrive next week. This has resulted in a temporary lowering of the weir pool from 86.05 to 85.9 m AHD. Euston Weir storage: Release from Euston Weir averaged 1840 ML/day this week but is expected to increase to around 2000 ML/day within the next few days as the higher flows from Torrumbarry Weir arrive.

Euston Weir pool cut from Murray: Beginning 1 October, the Euston Weir pool will be further lowered by around 3 – 5 cm/week in order to reduce evaporative losses along the river.

Lake Victoria is now closed: The inlet to Lake Victoria is now closed ensuring that adequate flow and weir pool levels are maintained in the River Murray at Locks 9, 8 and 7. Release from Lake Victoria has been increased from 1400 to 1600 ML/day and storage has fallen from 552 GL to 542 GL (80 per cent of capacity).

Flow to South Australia: Flow to South Australia averaged around 1900 ML/day and although the flow at Lock 1 temporarily increased to 1 500 ML/day it has since fallen back to 800 ML/day, Salinity rises at Morgan: Salinity levels at Morgan and Lock 1 have increased by about 50 EC this week and are currently 780 and 690 EC respectively. The level of the Lower Lakes has fallen from 0.25 to 0.18 m AHD since mid August with Milang Jetty showing an increase in salinity of around 350 EC to the current level of about 2350 EC.

Posted in Murray Darling Basin, River Murray, Salinity, South Australia, Storage, Town Water, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Over 300 NSW, Victoria, NSW towns face water restriction and water-carting under Ministers Armageddon dust-bowl plan

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

The Murray-Darling Basin Dry Inflow Contingency Planning Report to First Ministers ;lists Town-by-town contingency planning as “A detailed list of towns potentially moving onto no outdoor use restrictions from 1 July 2007. All states confirm that town-by-town contingency planning frameworks are now in place and are evolving as new issues and situations arise. Public information on affected towns is being made available via State Government web sites”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Drought, Emergency, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, River Murray, Town Water, Victoria, Water Security, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

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 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Allocations, Drought, Hydro, Irrigation, mdb, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, Town Water, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Emergency conditions: NSW withholds river-flow to southern states; had it not, it “would not have had any water for any purpose at the start of the season”

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

River levels
The NSW Department of Water and Energy said things were bad, very bad and only “critical water” was available; and there was the risk that event that supplied could fall so low essential services could not be provided. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, australia, Drought, Emergency, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, River Murray, Town Water, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

New policy-plan: NSW towns to purchase water on the open market in deal to go level 4 to level 3a, others must plan to truck water, open channels banned

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

The NSW Department of Water and Energy, said sufficient water will be provided to all towns to meet demands under Level 4 restrictions. Level 4 restrictions would continue until allocations of at least 20 per cent for high security licences were announced.MBDC flows

New idea: An option was currently being considered that would allow towns to purchase water on the open market if they wish to ease the level of restrictions from level 4 to level 3a. This would be on the basis that towns acquire 20 per cent of the volume to meet level 4 restrictions for that month. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, australia, Drought, Emergency, Evaporation, Irrigation, Murray Darling Basin, New ideas, nsw, Policy, Regulation, Town Water, Trade, Water Markets, Water Trade | Leave a Comment »

NSW, Victoria, South Australia policy-makers drought-panic leads to weasel words and tricky accounting

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

States have made a Declaration of emergency which requires to draining of more than 30 wetlands in the Murray Darling Basin to service Town Water and some irrigation. The Prime Minister’s release of the Murray-Darling Basin Dry Inflow Contingency Planning Overview Report, September 2007 showed panic-moves to respond to worst case of a dry Murray Darling system, with water below intakes, and with what water was left – so saline,  as to, poison crops. Each state had moved into last-ditch-measures mode, and tricky accounting was disguised with weasel word as all States agreed to change rules and use bureaucratic-speak to hide the take of the last water in the system – the wetlands and ‘environmental flows’ – needed to keep the river system alive. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, Drought, Environmental Flows, Irrigation, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, Policy, River Murray, Town Water, Victoria, water, Water Wars, Water Week Vol 0411, Wetlands | Leave a Comment »

Goldfields Pipeline helpful, but fast-growing towns need underground aquifers for water solution, says Steve Gibbons, Member for Bendigo, Victorian

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

Despite some good recent rains water reserves remained far below normal capacity, with the reservoirs in the Coliban system currently about 15 per cent full and Bendigo’s other main source of supply, Lake Eppalock, at under five per cent of capacity, said Labor MP Steve Gibbons in the Federal Parliament on 14 August 2007.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Aquifer, Drought, Emergency, Pipeline, Salinity, Storage, Town Water, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Consultations on Chaffrey Dam enlargement have taken six months: time for a decision, says NSW local MP

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

Independent Federal MP Tony Windsor catalogued a list of contacts made with Federal legislators by local politicians to advance the enlargement of the Chaffey Dam, after Environment and Water Resources Minister Malcolm Turnbull professed ignorance of the matter, in the Federal Parliament on 9 August 2007.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, Dams, Irrigation, nsw, Policy, Town Water, water, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Water Bill 2007 leaves too many unanswered questions, places unreasonable pressure on states acting in good faith: Labor MP

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

While the Water Bill was a step forward, there was confusion and doubts about several key issues, said Labor MP Anthony Albanese in the Federal Parliament on 14 August 2007.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in mdb, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, River Murray, Town Water, water, Water Security, Water Wars, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »