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Published: 24 September 2021   •   Media statements

The following can be attributed to Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) acting Chief Executive Andrew Reynolds: 

A strengthening Bureau of Meteorology forecast of between 50 and 100mm of rain starting mid–next week has prompted the Murray–Darling Basin Authority to increase releases from Hume Dam to create more airspace.

Releases will be stepped up today ahead of what is expected to be a sustained wet–weather event spanning several days from next Wednesday.

These airspace releases are expected to remain in–channel over the weekend however this is subject to change as information about this weather system improves and our river operators make adjustments accordingly.  

Above–average rainfall is expected in the upper Murray catchment in late September and October and there is an increased chance of flooding, particularly on the floodplains between Hume Dam and Yarrawonga Weir. 

The MDBA is working closely with the Bureau of Meteorology, WaterNSW and the NSW and Victorian State Emergency Services to provide flood preparedness safety messages.

Here’s some important information if you live, work or holiday on a floodplain about what you need to do to be prepared for potential floods.

There are three things you can do to be prepared:

Develop your personalised flood emergency plan for your home and property by going to the State Emergency Service website for your state. 

www.ses.nsw.gov.au
www.ses.vic.gov.au/plan-and-stay-safe

Sign up, or check your details are up to date, for WaterNSW’s Early Warning Network to be notified by SMS, email or landline about dam and supply activities during periods of flooding or high releases 

www.waternsw.com.au/supply/ewn

Check the Bureau of Meteorology to receive the latest weather information including warnings, river conditions and rainfall in your area

www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings
www.bom.gov.au/australia/flood

Be prepared early so you know what to do! 

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)

ENDS

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Journalists can contact the MDBA media team on 02 6279 0141 or reach us at media@mdba.gov.au. We are a small media team and after-hours and over weekends this inbox isn’t monitored so please call us instead on 0407 054 234.

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