Burrinjuck and Pindari dams have spilled as inflows continue to arrive in NSW dams

OPEN THE GATES: Water NSW has increased releases from Wyangala to 9GL a day. Photo: Kelsey Sutor
OPEN THE GATES: Water NSW has increased releases from Wyangala to 9GL a day. Photo: Kelsey Sutor

It seems like only yesterday that the state's dam levels were dropping to below 20 per cent capacity with much of the NSW gripped in drought until 2020.

Now several dams in regional NSW are close to full and some, including Burrinjuck and Pindari, have even started to spill.

On Wednesday, Water NSW announced that they were increasing release from Wyangala to nine gigalitres per day, to try to keep at least 7 per cent airspace in the catchment.

Wyangala reached 92.9 per cent of its capacity on Monday, and was expected to reach 96 per cent by the weekend.

"The Lachlan Airspace Reference Panel has recommended maintaining a minimum airspace target of 7.1% of capacity by maintaining the dam level at a maximum of 92.9% where possible," Water NSW said in a press release.

"WaterNSW will continue to work with the Bureau of Meteorology to monitor the rain forecast and inflow projections."

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WaterNSW spokesperson Tony Webber said Burrinjuck experienced a small spill of around 5000 megalitres on Sunday at around 3pm.

WaterNSW has also been releasing up to 8000ML/day from the Murrumbidgee storage to create airspace for further inflows which totalled 26,218ML in the last 24 hours.

"As has been the case for a number of weeks, we've been making airspace releases between rain events to allow downstream tributaries, which have been the vast bulk of the river flow in the Murrumbidgee, to peak and subside," Mr Webber explained.

"We reduced those releases to a minimum for the rain event over the weekend.

"That rain event generated more inflows, which brought the dam to capacity and a minor spill."

Blowering Dam is also creeping close to full capacity, currently sitting at 99 per cent, however Mr Webber said WaterNSW would hold steady on making further airspace releases for now.

There was a minor flood warning for the Tumut River announced by NSW SES on Monday.

In the north of the state, Mr Webber said Pindari Dam, which feeds into the Border Rivers, experienced a spill on Sunday night, while airspace releases of 2000ML/day began on Friday for Keepit Dam, which is currently sitting at 97 per cent full and was receiving inflows of up to 3000ML/day.

It highlights a remarkable recovery for the Namoi storage which reached its lowest level on record in 2018, at just 0.4 per cent of capacity.

Dam levels around the State

  • Dartmouth: 68pc, 2574GL
  • Hume: 78pc
  • Blowering: 99.7pc
  • Burrinjuck: 102pc
  • Wyangala: 95pc
  • Menindee: 66.4pc
  • Lake Victoria: 71pc, 408GL
  • Burrendong: 79pc
  • Glenbawn: 62.3pc
  • Copeton: 63.9pc
  • Keepit: 97pc, 407GL
  • Split Rock: 36.8pc
  • Pindari: 100pc, 312GL
  • Figures from WaterNSW's Water Insights on Wednesday evening

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