Hume Dam pre-releases ahead of forecast wet spring
Anyone who lives downstream of Hume Dam is encouraged to be flood-ready, with the wettest period for southern basin catchments ahead.
The Bureau of Meteorology's outlook for August to October this year indicates wetter than average conditions are likely to continue across much of Australia.
Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s River Management executive director Andrew Reynolds said the MDBA had been pre-releasing water from Hume Dam to create airspace since May, and had close to 250 gigalitres of airspace available to capture future inflows.
“However, if rainfall is more intense or totals are greater than forecast, significant run-off could be generated, with a risk of flooding both upstream and downstream of Hume Dam as these inflows would be passed through the dam and downstream,” Mr Reynolds said.
Hume Dam is currently 92 per cent full.
Mr Reynolds said river operators continued to work around the clock to assess new inflow and weather information and to 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,” he said.
“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.”
He said there were three things people could do to be prepared for potential floods:
- Develop a 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.
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
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 Murray-Darling Basin Authority needs to fill Hume Dam before irrigation demands start to exceed inflows, and the level starts to drop. This ensures water allocations are maximised.
MDBA operates the Hume Dam in accordance with the rules set by state governments.
When the dam fills, all floodwater will pass through the dam and head downstream, along with the water entering from 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: mdba.gov.au