Skip to main content
XAlert:We are currently updating our website to reflect Machinery of Government changes to Basin-wide compliance and enforcement.Read more
Go to search page
Published: 01 October 2021   •   Media statements

The following can be attributed to Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) acting Chief Executive Andrew Reynolds: 

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority is increasing the release of water from Hume Dam to maintain airspace in response to widespread rain forecast for the weekend and next week.

Releases will gradually be increased today from the current level of 18.5 GL per day to 23 GL today, and possibly higher over the weekend. The release rate is subject to change in response to changing conditions in the catchment.

Current forecasts indicate that flows in the River Murray downstream of Hume Dam will go above the river channel, but below minor flood level.

Combined with inflows from the Kiewa River, which enters downstream of Hume Dam, the river level at Albury is forecast to increase over the weekend, noting that forecasts can change rapidly in response to inflows and rainfall.

Hume Dam is currently 97 per cent full, with about 80 GL of airspace.

If you live or work on a floodplain, please stay up to date on the latest weather information including warnings, river conditions and rainfall in your area via the Bureau of Meteorology's website. You are also encouraged to subscribe to WaterNSW's Early Warning Network to be notified via SMS, landline or email about dam releases during times of high releases and floods.

We continue to work around the clock to assess new inflow and weather information and manage releases accordingly. This includes close collaboration with WaterNSW and the Bureau of Meteorology to get the most up–to–date rainfall and inflow forecasts.

October is one of the highest inflow months of the year. If we do get a large rainfall event and significant runoff is generated, then there is a significant risk of flooding both upstream and downstream of Hume Dam. 

The MDBA's priority is keeping the dam safe, capturing and storing water, and where we can, mitigating floods.

There are three things you can do to be prepared for potential floods:

Develop your personalised flood emergency plan for your home and property by going to the State Emergency Service website for your state. 
www.ses.nsw.gov.au
www.ses.vic.gov.au/plan-and-stay-safe

Sign up, or check your details are up to date, for WaterNSW's Early Warning Network to be notified by SMS, email or landline about dam activities during periods of flooding or high releases. 
www.waternsw.com.au/supply/ewn

Check the Bureau of Meteorology to receive the latest weather information including warnings, river conditions and rainfall in your area
www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings
www.bom.gov.au/australia/flood

Be prepared early so you know what to do! 

Background

Hume Dam's primary purpose is water security – it plays a crucial role in managing flows and securing water along the Murray River, including to Adelaide.

The MDBA needs to fill Hume Dam before irrigation demands start to exceed inflows, and the level starts to drop. This ensures water allocations are maximised.

The MDBA operates the Hume Dam in accordance with the rules set by state governments.

When the dam fills, all flood waters will pass through the dam and head downstream along with the water entering from the tributaries such as the Kiewa River.

The Bureau of Meteorology is responsible for issuing flood warnings to the public. Check www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings for up–to–date flood warnings in your area.
For more information about how dams are managed to reduce the impact of flooding visit: How are dams being managed to reduce the impact of flooding? | Murray–Darling Basin Authority (mdba.gov.au)

ENDS

Get in touch with the MDBA media team

Media releases

Sign me up to receive media releases:

Get in touch

Journalists can contact the MDBA media team on 02 6279 0141 or reach us at media@mdba.gov.au. We are a small media team and after-hours and over weekends this inbox isn’t monitored so please call us instead on 0407 054 234.

Follow us on social media

Follow @MD_Basin_Auth on Twitter
Find MDBAuth on Facebook