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Published: 01 March 2018   •   Media release

With Easter falling within the irrigation period, there is an improved likelihood of river flows and heights remaining stable—which is good news for local communities and visitors to the River Murray downstream of Hume Dam and Yarrawonga looking to enjoy river recreation over the holiday period.

MDBA head of River Management, Andrew Reynolds, said that, provided conditions remained dry, the outlook was looking favourable for steady flows and heights over Easter.

"Provided conditions remain hot and dry, and with Easter within the peak irrigation season, high amounts of water will likely still be called on," Mr Reynolds said.

"This will support more favourable river levels—which is expected to have complementary benefits for Easter tourism and recreation for communities along the River Murray.

"As a result of water entitlement holders calling for water, flows will be released from the upper storages of the River Murray, including Hume Dam, and passed through the system—generating higher river levels.

"We understand that this time of year is important for local business, with peaks in tourism and recreational activities taking place alongside and on the river.

"Wherever possible, the MDBA tries to align water deliveries with peak holiday times and recreational events—but it is important to understand that the MDBA can only release water to meet downstream system demands; that is, orders by entitlement holders.

"This means that, while the Easter river outlook is looking promising, if it rains heavily before the Easter period and water orders stop, then river levels will drop.

"It is too early to predict weather conditions for Easter, and the chance of a large rain event that could result in a sudden reduction of water orders remains.

"It is also too early to predict the exact river heights along the River Murray for Easter. I encourage all river users, locals and visitors to check and keep up to date with river levels and forecasts by checking the MDBA's River Murray data site and looking at BOM's 7-day Streamflow Forecasts."

Future editions of the MDBA's River Murray Weekly Report will give updates on Easter conditions—subscribe via the MDBA website.

For more information on how the MDBA river management team takes into account communities' recreational needs, see the MDBA River recreation page.

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