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Hume and Dartmouth Dams operations update – 7 September 2022

This update provides an overview on how the Murray–Darling Basin Authority is managing Hume Dam and Dartmouth Dam during the current high flows.
Published: 07 September 2022

This update provides an overview on how the Murray–Darling Basin Authority is managing Hume Dam and Dartmouth Dam during the current high flows.

The regular update includes:

  • catchment conditions
  • forecast rainfall and inflows
  • water releases
  • planned management for the coming week.

Catchment conditions

For the month of August 2022, the rainfall for Victoria and southern New South Wales was largely ‘above average’ or ‘very much above average’. Soil moisture levels remained high in the Upper Murray catchment throughout August and continue to be slightly above average for this time of year.

Map of total rainfall across the Basin for August 2022. Shows Victoria and southern New South Wales was largely ‘above average’ or ‘very much above average’.
Rainfall deciles for August 2022

Forecast rainfall and inflows

The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting rainfall totals (to 12 September) to be 25 – 50mm across many areas of Victoria and southern New South Wales. Most rain is anticipated to fall between Thursday 8 and Friday 9 September 2022.

The 7-day forecast map is automatically generated and subject to change daily when the models are run.

The Bureau of Meteorology is the best source of information to stay up-to-date with more detailed forecast rainfall and flood information.

The outlook for the next 2 weeks indicates a high chance of above-median rainfall for this time of the year. The outlook for spring shows a similar picture with high change of above-median rainfall.

2 maps showing the outlook of rainfalls in the Basin. On the left the next 2 weeks indicates a high chance of above-median rainfall for this time of the year. The right map shows a similar picture with high change of above-median rainfall in spring..
The chance of above-media rainfall in the coming 2 weeks (left) and 3 months (right)

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a La Niña alert – meaning the chance of a La Niña forming in the coming months is at least 70%. This is around 3 times the normal likelihood of a La Niña event forming. La Niña conditions increase the chance of above average spring and summer rainfall in northern and eastern Australia.

In addition, the negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event continues. There's consistency across all the models indicating that negative IOD conditions are likely to continue into late spring. A negative IOD event is typically associated with above average spring rainfall for much of Australia.

Snapshot: Dartmouth and Hume

Summary of water storage levels in Hume and Dartmouth Dams
The overall situation of Hume and Dartmouth dams on 7 September

Dartmouth Dam and Hume Dam this week

Flood operations are being conducted at both dams.

The dry week has assisted the MDBA to generate some airspace at Hume Dam. The dam is in a good position to manage the coming rain event if inflows are similar to what is forecast. The focus of operations remains on generating more airspace while minimising the impacts downstream, to assist in mitigating the impact of future rainfall events.

At Dartmouth Dam, water is not forecast to go over the spillway with this week’s forecast rainfall, however if inflows are higher than expected this is a possibility. Flows in the Mitta Mitta River will continue to be targeted within channel capacity at Tallandoon, which means releases from Dartmouth Dam will be reduced if tributary inflows increase. Currently it is unlikely flows at Tallandoon will exceed channel capacity, but it cannot be ruled out.

Flows at Doctors Point near Albury are around 40,000 megalitres per day and there is potential for a rise in flows from the Kiewa River in coming days. If required, Hume Dam releases may be reduced to accommodate the rises, as occurred last week, but in some scenarios this may not be achievable. The situation will continue to be monitored and action taken based on rainfall and inflows observed and forecast.

 

Are you flood ready?

If you live, work or holiday on a floodplain, be prepared


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Develop your personalised flood emergency plan for your home and property
www.ses.nsw.gov.au
www.ses.vic.gov.au/plan-and-stay-safe


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All residents can sign up for the Early Warning Network to be notified about dam release activities during periods of flooding or high releases
www.waternsw.com.au/supply/ewn


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Check the BoM website to receive the latest weather and flood information and warnings in your area
www.bom.gov.au/australia/flood
www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings

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