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Published: 05 September 2021   •   Media statements

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

In response to the updated Bureau of Meteorology forecast for more rain than expected this weekend, the MDBA began increasing releases from Hume Dam on Friday 3 September 2021.

The MDBA increased releases to 10 GL per day on Friday to manage airspace within Hume Dam in response to forecast rainfall. Releases increased to 22 GL per day on Saturday 4 September 2021 as significant stream flow responses were observed.

By releasing water, the MDBA reduced the flood peak from close to 70 GL per day to 22 GL downstream of Hume Dam.

Releases from Hume Dam are likely to stay close to 22 GL per day for several days, subject to inflows generated in the upper catchments. We expect the levels at Hume Dam to continue to increase over the next few days.

These releases mean that flows at Albury and downstream will remain slightly above the river channel in some locations due to high flows also in the Kiewa River – which joins the Murray River downstream of Hume Dam.

Active management of releases has been occurring over the last week and our river operators continue to work around the clock to assess weather data and inflows, and manage releases with WaterNSW.

Our priority is keeping the dam safe, capturing and storing water, and where we can, mitigating floods.

We strongly encourage those living and working on the floodplain to sign up for WaterNSW's Early Warning Network to be notified about dam and supply activities during periods of flooding or high releases, including when flows at Doctor's Point exceed 25,000 MG a day.

Background

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

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.

When the dam fills, all flood waters will pass through the dam and head downstream along with the water entering from unregulated 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.

if you live or work on the floodplain, you need to be prepared for potential floods by:

  • Developing a personalised flood plan
  • Signing up to WaterNSW's Early Warning Network, and
  • Checking for up-to-date flood warnings on the Bureau of Meteorology website.

To sign up for WaterNSW's Early Warning Network visit www.waternsw.com.au/ewn
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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