WaterNSW will revise its forecast flow peaks for the bulk water transfer between Windamere and Burrendong Dams of 1500ML/day to 900ML/day, after members of the community and Cudgegong irrigators expressed concern about potential water quality impacts due to higher flows.
WaterNSW will commence the 35GL transfer from 1 January 2019 and monitor water quality during the transfer, with a view to possibly increasing this peak flow to achieve greater environmental outcomes.
WaterNSW had earlier advised Midwestern Regional Council and a key stakeholder group that the bulk water transfer between Windamere and Burrendong Dams scheduled for January will take place in two distinct stages.
A second 13GL phase of the transfer will occur mid-2019, leaving a minimum of 70GL in Windamere.
The Cudgegong Valley Water Security Committee and council emphasised the need for adequate communication during the transfer event to ensure impacts on water users, Cudgegong irrigators, and landholders and the environment were minimised.
A key component of this strategy is encouraging the public to register for the WaterNSW early warning network (EWN) which can send automated messages on dam releases and river information.
Inflows to Burrendong Dam have been approximately one-quarter of the previous record low inflow, confirming that the Macquarie system has entered a new drought-of-record.
Windamere and Burrendong storages provide water security for customers in the Macquarie Cudgegong Valley. Transfers occur from Windamere to Burrendong when the storage levels drop to ensure reliability of supply to all customers.