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Published: 19 March 2019   •   Media release

The start of autumn sees the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) transition its river operations from transferring water to support delivery of entitlements to water conservation mode.

MDBA Executive Director of River Management, Andrew Reynolds said the latest operations forecasts indicated that flows in the River Murray can be further eased.

"Now that the peak season for irrigation water demand has passed, the MDBA is progressively switching its main focus to conserving water," Mr Reynolds said.

"Typically the demand for water in the River Murray System tapers off as we progress into autumn and this year is expected to be consistent with that historic pattern.

"Even though the outlook is for continued dry conditions and above average temperatures, temperatures are expected to decrease below the record levels of January and February which will lead to easing of irrigation water demands."

Mr Reynolds said that the MDBA had a responsibility to manage the River Murray system to maximise water availability for all water entitlement holders at all times. 

"Changes in operations have seen water transfers from Dartmouth Dam to Hume Dam cease. Lake Victoria transfers will also be reducing.

"Later in the season flows in the Goulburn system will ease, along with inter-valley trade water decreasing in that system.

"As this irrigation season draws to a close and water demand dissipates, further reductions may be applied in an effort to continue to conserve water for the next water year."

River Murray users can keep up to date with river heights and weir pool levels by viewing River Murray data at: riverdata.mdba.gov.au and can keep in touch with upcoming changes by registering to receive the free River Murray weekly report.

More information about how the MDBA runs the River Murray system is available on the MDBA website.

ENDS

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Journalists can contact the MDBA 24 hour media unit on (02) 6279 0141 or reach us at media@mdba.gov.au

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