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Chief Executive update – November 2021

A message from the acting Chief Executive, Andrew Reynolds.

Andrew Reynolds

Executive Director, River Management

Andrew is the Executive Director of River Management. He has more than 27 years of experience in the water industry at the Commonwealth and state level, managing major water supply infrastructure, and is the immediate past chairman of the Australian National Committee on Large Dams. Andrew was the Acting Chief Executive of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority between September 2021 and June 2022.

Published: 18 November 2021

Welcome to our newsroom, the MDBA’s new home of stories from around the Basin. 

We are always looking for ways to improve how we communicate with Basin communities and how we can best keep you informed. Our new newsroom provides a platform for us to share the latest updates, news and local Basin stories. You also subscribe to River Reach, our monthly email wrap up of stories from the newsroom. The subscribe form is at the bottom of this page.

You will notice that we have included a special feature on the Murraylands region of South Australia. Keep an eye out for more features like this from Basin regions.  

If you have a story idea or suggestion for improvement, feel free to drop us a line – the contact details are in the website footer below. 

Chief Executive's Basin wrap-up

It has been a big year for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact how we engage with our Basin communities. But with around 90 staff now based in Basin regional communities we are in a better position to consult with communities, and for the MDBA’s expert team to be a part of Basin communities.  

The prospect of a wetter than average spring and summer has meant we have been on high alert for potential flooding. For the MDBA, our responsibilities are at Hume Dam and the risk of flooding downstream of Albury. Meanwhile, the Basin states are working to manage flooding elsewhere including the Lachlan Valley. Our river operators are working closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to access new inflow and weather information and manage releases from Hume Dam accordingly.  Our Basin state government partners take a similar approach in other valleys across the Basin.

Most catchments have had good rainfall and flows through winter and spring, which is resulting in positive outcomes for the Basin’s communities, industries and the environment, but rainfall in late spring and summer is not always welcome as it hampers the winter grain harvest and can severely impact yield and quality. We’re hoping for a good dry stretch for grain growers so they can finish stripping their crops. There are still a few dry pockets but overall, storage levels across the Basin have increased to 93% for the whole Basin. 

Now to water allocations, and there is some good news to share. All water users across the southern Basin – in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales – are enjoying full allocations against their entitlements. For some, like New South Wales general security licence holders on the Murray, this is the first time since the 2016–17 water year.

Thanks for your interest and remember that we are open to any thoughts or suggestions you may have on our new-look River Reach newsletter.

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