Autumn flows to vary with River Murray environmental watering

24 February 2017

River Murray communities downstream of Yarrawonga are advised that flows and river heights will continue to vary in the coming weeks as environmental water moves through the system.

MDBA head of River Operations David Dreverman said orders for environmental water in the River Murray were currently being delivered downstream of Yarrawonga weir, peaking at Echuca in late February and early March.

"We would recommend that people around the river adjust their activities while the higher flows pass through," Mr Dreverman said.

"Flows are currently close to the top of the bank in the area downstream of Yarrawonga, and will begin to fall back to lower levels in around a week's time."

Mr Dreverman said delivery of the environmental water was being carefully coordinated with flows entering the Murray from the Goulburn River.

Environmental water managers are using Murray flows to attract fish as they reach Torrumbarry weir. The pulse provided by incoming Goulburn flows will then trigger upstream movement of fish into the Goulburn River.

The environmental watering is a joint action by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and Goulburn-Murray Water, in collaboration with the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

Mr Dreverman said communities around Barham and Swan Hill could also expect to see changes in river levels as these flows make their way through the system.

"Further flow rates through autumn would depend on system conditions and orders from water entitlement holders.

"River conditions can change quickly and river users should not expect river levels to be the same as the last time they visited the river.

"This is particularly important in the approach to the popular period on the river at Easter. Releases will continue to be adjusted over the coming months according to the weather and orders from water entitlement holders. If orders are low it can result in low river levels."

For more information on flows, river heights and salinity levels, river users are advised to subscribe to updates in the River Murray weekly report and refer to livedata.mdba.gov.au

ENDS

For more information, contact the MDBA Media office at media@mdba.gov.au or 02 6279 0141

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