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Published: 18 December 2019   •   Media release

Conditions across the Murray–Darling Basin worsened this past fortnight and there are no signs of relief.

The MDBA Executive Director of River Operations, Andrew Reynolds, said the latest drought update shows both the northern and southern Basin recorded less than 10mm of rain and experienced very hot and dry conditions.

"Temperatures were above 40 degrees across much of the northern Basin and there is no reprieve from the current heatwave on the horizon," Andrew Reynolds said.

"The combination of high temperatures, multiple bush fires and low storage levels means water quality is taking a hit. The number of blue-green algae alerts issued by the New South Wales Government has doubled since our last drought update."

Areas on Red Alert in NSW are:

  • Menindee Lakes at Lake Wetherell
  • Lake Wyangan (North) at Griffith
  • Murrumbidgee River at Redbank Weir
  • Burrendong Dam
  • the Macquarie River at Warren Weir
  • Mehi River at Gundare
  • Namoi River downstream of Keepit Dam
  • Pindari Dam
  • the Macintyre River at Boggabilla Weir and
  • Mildura Weir Pool (Lock 11 to Red Cliffs)

In Victoria, Tullaroop Reservoir remains on red alert.

"Water quality also plays a key role in the health of our native fish habitat—unfortunately we expect to see more fish deaths this summer. Communities are reminded to contact their relevant state authority if they see dying or dead fish."
State authorities:

  • New South Wales Fishers Watch hotline: 1800 043 536
  • Queensland Department of Environment and Science:1300 130 372
  • Victoria Environmental Protection Authority pollution hotline:1300 372 842
  • South Australia Fishwatch Hotline: 1800 065 522
  • Australian Capital Territory - Access Canberra: 13 22 81

The drought update is available on the MDBA website www.mdba.gov.au/droughtupdate.

ENDS

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