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Published: 05 March 2020   •   Media release

Thanks to recent rainfall in the southern Basin, demand for water has eased which means the Murray–Darling Basin Authority's river operations focus has shifted to conserving water in the major dams for the next water year.

MDBA Executive Director of River Management, Andrew Reynolds, said rain and lower temperatures along the Murray had reduced irrigation demand a bit earlier than usual and expected it to continue tapering off as we head into autumn.

"Water is scarce, and as river managers we need to store as much as we can for future use. This is part of normal operations, especially during autumn and winter, to maximise water availability for licence holders in the year ahead," Mr Reynolds said.

"As we get more rain, river levels in the Murray will become relatively low compared with flows that are typical for this time of year.

"If you use the river for business or recreation, including pumpers and boat operators, please keep an eye on local river heights and consider adjusting your activities as water levels change.

"We know dropping river levels can impact communities and visitors to the Murray and will work with state water agencies to provide as much information to the community as possible so they can plan.

"The drought has been tough on many licence holders reliant on the River Murray system, so we need to take every opportunity to top–up the reserves for future use by the southern Basin states.

"We are still in drought and water availability is low—it's imperative we take this action."

To keep up to date with river heights visit and stay in touch by registering for the free River Murray weekly report.


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