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Published: 18 August 2021   •   Media statements

The following can be attributed to Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Executive Director of River Management Andrew Reynolds: 

Less rainfall than predicted has stopped pre–releases of water from Hume Dam that were being made to maintain airspace.

The MDBA released close to 19 gigalitres from Hume Dam from 7–15 August to maintain airspace in the dam.

In parallel, the Environmental Water Holders ordered water, from 12 August, to meet flow targets downstream of Yarrawonga Weir. Releases are currently around 9 gigalitres a day.

We expect this release of environmental water will continue over the next week. It will support flows into the wetlands and creeks of Barmah–Millewa Forest, benefiting native vegetation and fish.

Every day we evaluate conditions based on Bureau of Meteorology data, inflow data, predicted inflows and historical records to determine how to best manage the dam.

Looking ahead, the Bureau is predicting little rain next week – but some higher amounts are forecast the following week. Wetter–than–median rainfall is forecast for spring.

It’s important to note the timing of when rain falls. It’s not an issue if above–median rainfall occurs, however it may become more of a challenge if we get a big rain event.

So, what all this means is that inflows to Hume are likely to continue to recede for the next week and therefore any additional pre–releases are unlikely in the short–term.

We will let communities know if and when pre–releases start again.

Background

Hume Dam’s primary purpose is water security – it plays a crucial role in managing flows and securing water along the Murray River, including to Adelaide.

The MDBA needs to fill Hume Dam before irrigation demands start to exceed inflows, and the level starts to drop. This ensures water allocations are maximised.

The MDBA operates the Hume Dam in accordance with the rules set by state governments.

When the dam fills, all flood waters will pass through the dam and head downstream along with the water entering from the tributaries such as the Kiewa River.

The Bureau of Meteorology is responsible for issuing flood warnings to the public. Check www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings for up–to–date flood warnings in your area.

For more information about how dams are managed to reduce the impact of flooding visit: How are dams being managed to reduce the impact of flooding? | Murray-Darling Basin Authority (mdba.gov.au)

Next update next Wednesday 25 August 2021.

Water releases from Hume Dam August 2021
Water releases from Hume Dam August 2021

ENDS

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