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Published: 10 November 2021

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 create airspace ahead of widespread rain expected later this week.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting rain in the Hume Dam catchment from late Thursday to Saturday, with possible falls between 50 and 100mm.

Releases from Hume Dam increased yesterday to 15 GL, up from 10 GL a week ago. These releases are not expected to cause water to rise above the river channel and cause flooding.

However, if rainfall is more intense or totals are greater than forecast significant runoff could be generated, there is a high risk of flooding both upstream and downstream of Hume Dam as these inflows will be passed through the dam and downstream.

Hume Dam is currently 98% full, with about 70 GL of airspace.

River operators 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.

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

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.

There are 3 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

The Bureau of Meteorology outlook for November to January continues to favour above-median rain across most of eastern Australia.

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)

Digital artwork Hume Dam flood communications

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