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Published: 25 November 2021

The following can be attributed to Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) acting Chief Executive Andrew Reynolds:

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority is increasing the amount of water released from Hume Dam today to manage inflows from rain in the Upper Murray catchments.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting rain to continue through Thursday into Friday, with likely falls over the two days generally in the range of 50 to 100 mm, although this can vary widely across the ranges and localised heavier falls are possible.

Releases from Hume Dam have been increasing gradually over the past week in anticipation of the rain, and today rose from 21.5 GL to 30 GL per day.

There remains a high level of uncertainty around the weather pattern. If rainfall continues to be intense and generate significant runoff in the next few hours, releases will rise further to 35 GL per day, with the potential for further increases over the next day or two.

Current releases are not expected to exceed the minor flood level in the Murray River at Albury for now, however higher releases over the next 24 to 48 hours may result in flows above minor flood level. Please refer to Bureau of Meteorology warnings for locations further downstream of Albury. 

Hume Dam is currently 98% full, with about 55 GL of airspace.

River operators continue to work around the clock to assess new inflow and weather information and manage releases accordingly. This includes close collaboration with WaterNSW and the Bureau of Meteorology to get the most up–to–date rainfall and inflow forecasts.

The MDBA’s priority is keeping the dam safe, capturing and storing water and, where we can, mitigating floods.

If you live or work on a floodplain, please stay up to date on the latest weather information including warnings, river conditions and rainfall in your area via the Bureau of Meteorology’s website. You are also encouraged to subscribe to WaterNSW's Early Warning Network to be notified via SMS, landline or email about dam releases during times of high releases and floods.

There are 3 things you can do to be prepared for potential floods:

Develop your personalised flood emergency plan for your home and property by going to the State Emergency Service website for your state. 

Sign up, or check your details are up to date, for WaterNSW’s Early Warning Network to be notified by SMS, email or landline about dam activities during periods of flooding or high releases. 

Check the Bureau of Meteorology to receive the latest weather information including warnings, river conditions and rainfall in your area

The Bureau of Meteorology outlook for November to January continues to favour above-median rain across most of eastern Australia.

ENDS

Background

Hume Dam’s primary purpose is water security – it plays a crucial role in managing flows and securing water along the Murray River, including to Adelaide.

The MDBA needs to fill Hume Dam before irrigation demands start to exceed inflows, and the level starts to drop. This ensures water allocations are maximised.

The MDBA operates the Hume Dam in accordance with the rules set by state governments.

When the dam fills, all flood waters will pass through the dam and head downstream along with the water entering from the tributaries such as the Kiewa River.

The Bureau of Meteorology is responsible for issuing flood warnings to the public. Check www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings for up-to-date flood warnings in your area.

For more information about how dams are managed to reduce the impact of flooding visit: How are dams being managed to reduce the impact of flooding?

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