As the Burrendong Dam storage falls to 10.6 per cent of capacity (as of January 13), WaterNSW will host information sessions regarding dam and river operations in the Macquarie-Cudgegong valley.
Senior WaterNSW system operations personnel meet with water users reliant on the Macquarie and Cudgegong Rivers to discuss the current situation and the outlook ahead.
As record drought grips the Macquarie valley, WaterNSW had previously advised that Burrendong Dam storage will fall well below 10 per cent this summer without significant inflows. WaterNSW is managing water security in line with NSW Government rules to ensure equity among the numerous competing interests dependent on Burrendong Dam, including communities, farm groups and the environment.
And in late 2018 they moved the likely timing of a proposed transfer of water from Windamere Dam to Burrendong Dam, via the Cudgegong River, from November to January. Burrendong currently sits at 10.6 per cent of capacity, with a transfers now underway.
WaterNSW said in a statement that even with the additional water, a continuation of drought conditions that have prevailed since 2016 could reduce the volume of water in the dam to less than 5 per cent by the end of summer.
But it went on to say that stringent drought measures and co-operation from customers in the Macquarie Valley has already led to valuable water savings, with surplus deliveries down by more than 95 per cent.
“Customer support for stricter water ordering processes and flexibility to make group orders has allowed WaterNSW to stringently manage water storages in the region,” the statement read. “A NSW Government s324 order also remains in place for the Macquarie valley, temporarily quarantining 30 per cent of all carryover water available to irrigators.
As of January 13, WaterNSW reports that Windamere Dam is sitting at 36.7 per cent of capacity. The dam level has decreased by only 0.4 per cent in the last week.