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Published: 08 September 2016   •   Media release

People along the Murray and Darling rivers near Wentworth are advised that the Lock 10 weir pool level is being lowered to try to reduce high salinity levels in the Darling River arm of the weir pool. 

Boat operators, recreational users, river pumpers, stock owners and others along the River Murray and Darling River upstream of Wentworth are advised to take changing water levels into account and adjust their activities as necessary.

The weir pool is currently at 30.7 metres (or 0.1m below Full Supply Level) and will fall gradually over the weekend before further steps to lower the pool begin on Monday 12 September.

The acting Executive Director of River Management Andrew Reynolds said the weir pool level would initially be lowered to about 30.4m by about Thursday 15 September.

"We will work closely with state agencies to monitor the impacts of the lowering and review the operation day by day. If conditions allow, we plan to lower the weir pool further—perhaps to as low as 30.0 metres," Mr Reynolds said.

"Depending on assessments of local conditions, the pool may remain low for up to two weeks before being refilled. The MDBA will provide updates to keep the community informed."

Mr Reynolds said the lowering will be most noticed close to the weir and in the Darling arm. The flows currently passing Mildura Weir will help limit the fall of water levels near Mildura.

At this stage Lock 10 will remain open. The MDBA will provide an update if low water levels require the lock to close temporarily.

Minor rises in the river level immediately downstream of the weir are expected during the first few days that water is released from the weir pool.

"This action is being done to support communities and industries in the Lower Darling area," Mr Reynolds said.

"We appreciate the broader community's understanding while the river level in the local area is reduced.

"We expect that by lowering the weir pool, the highly saline water currently making its way down the Darling River may travel a little more quickly into the River Murray channel, where it will be diluted.

"At the same time, NSW water authorities are releasing higher flows of around 1000 megalitres per day from the Menindee Lakes storage to improve water quality in the Lower Darling."

The MDBA is conducting this work in cooperation with WaterNSW, DPI Water, G-MW and Victorian DPI.

The MDBA will continue to closely monitor river and salinity levels. Forecasts of River Murray flows and salinity will be provided on the MDBA's website.


For more information, contact the MDBA Media office at or 02 6279 0141

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