Skip to main content
Go to search page
Published: 17 October 2010   •   Media release

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority today advised of ongoing poor water quality in the lower Wakool River as well as the possibility of poor quality in the River Murray in the vicinity of the Wakool River Junction.

The poor quality is in relation to a ‘blackwater event’ due to return flows from the natural flooding of the Koondrook and Perricoota Forests. Rapid breakdown of leaf litter from the forest floor has resulted in dissolved oxygen falling to very low levels and there have been reports of fish deaths in the Wakool River.

This poor quality water is currently moving downstream and will progressively mix with the Murray River over the coming days.

The Authority, together with the governments of New South Wales and Victoria, have implemented a number of immediate mitigation measures aimed at increasing the dilution of this water. These measures include higher releases in the upper Wakool initiated on 8 October 2010. They also include delivery of additional water from nearby storage facilities to the Murray River.

Any water quality issues are expected to be short term and localised, as increased flows are expected down the Murray River due to recent rain and the provision of managed environmental water from The Living Murray portfolio and the Barmah-Millewa Forest Environmental Water Allocation.

River users are advised to take the water quality into account when planning their operations around the Wakool and River Murray confluence. Further advice will be issued if circumstances change.

For more information contact the MDBA Media office on (02) 6279 0141 or email

Get in touch with the MDBA media team

Media releases

Sign me up to receive media releases:

Journalists can contact the MDBA media team by calling 02 6279 0141 or emailing

We are a small media team and do not monitor emails after hours (including weekends). For urgent issues please call 0407 054 234.

Follow us on social media

Follow @MD_Basin_Auth on Twitter
Find MDBAuth on Facebook