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 17% (53 GL) of active capability 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 a further increase in August to 14.2%, 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/May 2019 to replenish waterholes for native fish along the river and into the Barwon-Darling to past Brewarrina as part of the Northern Fish Flow.
  • 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.
  • 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 in February replenished town water storages, including Mungindi.
  • Restrictions on access across the Northern Basin in January/February 2020 to protect flows for critical needs. These have now been lifted. Mungindi weir pool filled.
  • Some supplementary access has been permitted.
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, but resumed from September 2020.
Outlook
  • Rainfall since February 2020 has continued to generated flows which have filled Boggabilla Weir. Catchment is now wet and so will respond quickly if further rainfall occurs.