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Published: 15 July 2019   •   Media release

Due to ongoing dry conditions and in preparation for the up-coming water season, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is transferring water from Dartmouth Dam to the Hume Reservoir.  

MDBA Executive Director of River Management, Andrew Reynolds, said it was important to make sure the community had up to date information about changes to operation of the river.

"The water transfers would help to meet water demands downstream of Hume in the River Murry system should dry conditions continue and will mean higher flows along the Mitta Mitta River," Mr Reynolds said.

"The MDBA is committed to working with the community and taking on board their observations and advice when we're planning changes. We met with the Mitta Mitta Valley community last week to discuss the likely releases from Dartmouth Dam over coming months.

"We are transferring small to moderate volumes of water now to lessen the potential need for larger transfers later in the season when they could coincide with peak recreation and pumping periods."

The MDBA plans to transfer water from Dartmouth Dam, which currently sits at 63 per cent capacity, through the Mitta Mitta River to Hume Reservoir throughout July. Water releases could continue after this should conditions remain dry.

"About 180 gigalitres will be released from the Dartmouth Dam during July, so people in the Mitta Mitta Valley will have noticed the Mitta Mitta River starting to run higher, rising by about half a metre in some areas," said Mr Reynolds. 

"We're managing the water to mimic natural river-flow variations, which helps limit erosion."

Dartmouth Dam is operated by Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) on behalf of the MDBA. It has the highest embankment of any dam in Australia. It is the largest dam in the River Murray system and can store nearly 4,000 gigalitres, which when full holds more than 40% of the River Murray system's total storage capacity.

At the start of this water year with other storages very low Dartmouth held over 80 per cent of the River Murray systems water resource. Water from Dartmouth supplements water held in Hume Dam and increases supplies to the River Murray system, which is particularly important in dry seasons.    

The community meeting held at the Eskdale Hotel last Friday was a joint event with GMW and North East Catchment Management Authority. It was an opportunity for locals to hear about the current operation of Dartmouth Dam, potential flows along the Mitta Mitta River and the riparian river restoration program.

Further information on how the MDBA runs the River Murray can be found on our website: https://www.mdba.gov.au/river-information/running-river-murray.

ENDS

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