Mildura Weekly : Friday August 19 Vol 10 No 41
10 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2016 FLOWS released into the Lower Darling River are now making their way south of Pooncarie at almost 1000 megalitres a day af- ter filling the town’s weir pool last week. Significant flows arrived in Pooncarie last Thursday (ear- lier than revised WaterNSW esti- mates), and are already heading downstream at approximately 980 megalitres a day. WaterNSW is continuing to release flows from Weir 32 upstream of Pooncarie, an op- eration that commenced in late July to bring much-needed criti- cal supplies to landholders and communities. As a result, work is now un- der way to remove block banks installed to hold water as the drought crisis escalated in late 2014. The aim is to minimise likely environmental impacts should the banks erode and collapse, as well as remove the impediment they pose to flow rates. Flows have reached the site of the first of the block banks at Jamesville, built by WaterNSW in 2014 along with a second block bank at Old Burtundy, to hold water for critical use as the drought crisis escalated and flows in the Lower Darling ceased. The current releases have a low salinity content of approxi- mately 800 electrical conductiv- ity (EC), which will further dilute remnant pools of poor qual- ity water downstream, bringing benefit to landholders and other users along the entire Lower Dar- ling. Total inflow estimates into the Menindee Lakes system have been upgraded to between 150 and 180 gigalitres, driven by win- ter rainfall across the central New South Wales catchments. WaterNSW said that should seasonal conditions and flows deteriorate significantly, it would consider re-installing the block banks as part of drought contin- gency measures. Block banks removed for Lower Darling flows • FREE FLOWING: Flows have finally reached Pooncarie, with the Lower Darling River, TOP RIGHT, which has been dry for several months, running once again much to the delight of residents, and filling the weir pool which is the town water reservoir, RIGHT.
Friday August 12 Vol 10 No 40
Friday August 26 Vol 10 No 42