Dam nearing capacity

WaterNSW has tripled releases from Wyangala Dam and has opened the floodgates at the dam to create capacity in the dam storage in preparation for a significant rain event across the region.

WaterNSW spokesman Tony Webber said they were watching the weather and speaking with the Bureau without increasing the likelihood of causing problems along the Lachlan River.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting falls of between 20 and 40mm in the Wyangala catchment on Friday following heavy rain also forecast for Thursday.

Wyangala storage currently sits at 95% of capacity, with 3000 megalitres a day (Ml/day) being released from the storage since the weekend.

On Monday releases from the dam were increased to 10,000Ml/day to increase the available airspace ahead of a predicted large rainfall event.

This is a continuation of the airspace releases started on Tuesday, August 2, by WaterNSW, the State's river system operator.

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.

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.

In contrast Mr Webber said WaterNSW is confident it has the capacity to absorb the forecast rainfall at Burrendong Dam.

Burrendng Dam is currently at 78 per cent.

“We’ve still got about 300,000 megalitre of airspace at Burrendong and are only releasing 50 megalitres a day,” Mr Webber said.

WaterNSW has opened the floodgates at Wyangala Dam due to the substantial rainfall predicted today. WaterNSW is currently releasing 10,000 megalitres a day.

WaterNSW has opened the floodgates at Wyangala Dam due to the substantial rainfall predicted today. WaterNSW is currently releasing 10,000 megalitres a day.