Water releases from the Wyangala Dam in New South Wales will be tripled to free up storage capacity ahead of significant rainfall throughout the region, as part of preparation for irrigation season in October.

In late-August 2016, Wyangala storage sits at 95 per cent of capacity, with 3000ML a day being released from the storage.

WaterNSW, the state’s river system operator, have increased the dam’s releases to 10,000ML/day to achieve the available airspace before the predicted rainfall.

The increases are a continuation of the airspace releases started on Tuesday, 2 August 2016.

These airspace operations involve releasing the ongoing inflows to maintain storage capacity to capture any future significant inflows caused by more rain in the dam’s saturated catchment.

Under the operating rules for Wyangala Dam, airspace releases:

  • must factor in downstream conditions so the river remains beneath minor flood level at Forbes and Jemalong, and;
  • may only be conducted where catchment conditions and weather forecasts provide a high degree of certainly that the storage will be at full supply level for the beginning of the irrigation season in October 2016.

Downstream landholders have been notified, while users registered with WaterNSW’s Early Warning Network (EWN) will receive automated updates in advance of changes to the release pattern.

While WaterNSW will manage release volumes to remain below minor flood level, downstream landholders should exercise caution with regard to stock and equipment.

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