Border Rivers

Border Rivers 
Drought Stage

Stage 2 - Emerging drought

Stage 2 recovering - de-escalated from Stage 3 severe on 14 August 2020 and Stage 4 critical on 23 March 2020.

Storage Level
  • Pindari Dam at 16% (49 GL) of active capacity compared to 17 GL (5%) on 1 July 2019.
  • Glenlyon Dam at 15% (38 GL) compared to 21 GL (8%) on 1 July 2019.
Allocations
  • Small 7.3% A class general security allocation announced on 1 July 2020, and further increases to October to 23.3%, but zero for B Class.
  • Zero allocation for general security A and B class for 2019/20, and 50% of carryover water suspended until 25 February when suspension fully lifted.
  • Last general security B class allocation made in January 2018.
  • Full allocations announced for high priority and high security licence holders in 2019/20, although delivery of water remains limited.
Action
  • Environmental water was released in April 2018 (4.3 GL) and  again 2019 (7.4 GL) from Glenlyon Dam to replenish waterholes for native fish along the river and into the Barwon-Darling as part of the Northern Fish Flow. This was done in conjunction with releases from Copeton Dam in the Gwydir.
  • Priority in 2019/20 and again in 2020/21 is to provide for town water supplies, with flows provided in block releases or supply via run of the river flows. Block release for 2020/21 will occur in December.
  • Final dam releases were made in the Border Rivers to Boggabilla Weir for Boggabilla and Goondiwindi town water supplies in December 2019. However tributary inflows since February have replenished town water weirs.
  • Restrictions on access across the Northern Basin in January/February 2020 to protect flows for critical needs. These were lifted in the Border Rivers towards the end of February.
  • Some supplementary access has been permitted.
  • Environmental transparency releases (a set volume of inflows) re-commenced in September 2020.
  • Environmental stimulus release from Pindari Dam occurred in October – total of 4.4 GL
Issues
  • Storage levels are low, but continuing tributary inflows downstream are keeping the system wet.
  • Dam releases were not able to be made to reach Mungindi in December 2019. However Mungindi weir pool filled following flows in February 2020 and continued rainfall since.
  • Some fish kills in November 2019 as a result of runoff from bushfire affected areas.
  • Fish deaths in Macintrye and Severn Rivers in January/early February 2020 as a result of short sharp rise in river flows.
  • Pindari low level valve maintenance work prevented transparent releases since December 2019, but resumed from September 2020. Undelivered amount will be provided in future releases.
Outlook
  • Rainfall since February 2020 has continued to generate flows which have filled Boggabilla and Mungindi Weirs. Catchment is now wet and so will respond quickly if further rainfall occurs.