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Published: 15 December 2017   •   Media release

The total water resource in the Menindee Lakes system is about to drop below 480 gigalitres (GL) which means no further water will be called by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) for use in the River Murray system.

MDBA head of River Management, Andrew Reynolds said in line with the longstanding Murray–Darling Basin Agreement, the MDBA accesses water from Menindee Lakes until the volume falls below 480 GL.

"The MDBA and WaterNSW took on community views as much as we could under the rules and we have worked to preserve water in Lake Wetherell and Pamamaroo," Mr Reynolds said.

"Reduced operational releases for the Murray System have been supplemented with small volumes of environmental water to provide a riverine environment beneficial for native fish breeding."

WaterNSW Executive Manager System Operations, Adrian Langdon, said below 480 GL, WaterNSW would continue to manage the lakes and flows as described in WaterNSW’s Lower Darling Annual Operations Plan.

"Having more water in the upper lakes provides greater security to local water users," Mr Langdon said.

"WaterNSW will be varying releases to meet a flow target of 20 ML/day at Burtundy Weir.

"We are confident we can manage the system to meet local water needs until the resource position of the lakes next improves."   

More information on the WaterNSW Lower Darling Operations Plan is available at http://www.waternsw.com.au/about/newsroom/2017/water-plan-prepared-as-drought-saps-darling-flows

The MDBA will resume access to water in the Menindee Lakes for the River Murray system when the volume exceeds 640 GL.

Current dam storage information is available on the WaterNSW website.

Ends

For more information, contact the MDBA Media office at media@mdba.gov.au or 02 6279 0141 or Richard Bryce at GMW on (03) 5826 3470.

WaterNSW Media contact: tony.webber@waternsw.com.au or 0428 613 478

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