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Published: 11 November 2009   •   Media release

The refilling of Euston Lakes (Dry Lake and Lake Benanee) began this week after being isolated from the River Murray for nearly two years.

The lakes were isolated from the River Murray in December 2007 by a temporary weir at Taila Creek, off the Euston Weir pool as a water saving measure.

The reduction in evaporation over that time helped assure the delivery of critical human water needs for all three States reliant on the River Murray System, particularly in the 2007-08 water year.

The agreed ‘trigger’ for refilling the lakes occurred in October when water availability improved to the point that NSW Murray high security allocations reached 97%.

From today, flows past the temporary Taila Creek regulator will be progressively increased by the opening of gates and the temporary installation of syphons.

In coming weeks, when the lakes have partially refilled, the regulator will be progressively removed to allow completion of the refilling.

It could take three or four weeks to partially refill Dry Lake before the water, in turn, flows through to begin filling Lake Benanee. Complete filling of both lakes may take a couple of months depending on the prevailing weather conditions.

It may be necessary to temporarily lower Euston Weir pool by up to 30 cm below full supply level for a short time in summer to facilitate the removal of the regulator.

Advance warning will be given if this is required. The duration and extent of any lowering will be kept to a minimum to minimise disruption to Euston Weir pool users.

The plan for refilling Euston Lakes is flexible and will respond to monitoring of erosion and other potential impacts over the coming weeks.

Landholders and river users are advised to exercise caution and remove any stock, material or machinery from the lakes and associated waterways.

Further updates will be provided by MDBA as the operation progresses.

MDBA media contact: Sam Leone (02) 6279 0141

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