Blowering and Burrinjuck not expected to spill

Blowering and Burrinjuck not expected to spill

Blowering Dam spilling in October, 2016. Authorities aren’t expecting the dam, currently 56 per cent full, to reach capacity this weekend.

WaterNSW is not expecting Blowering Dam to spill during this weekend’s rain event.

WaterNSW said its dams, including Burrinjuck and Blowering, will capture any run-off generated by the major weather event forecast to occur in coming days over the central and southern regions of NSW.

WaterNSW spokesperson Tony Webber said the organisation is working closely with the NSW Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) to monitor what is anticipated to be a significant rainfall episode, expected to peak on Saturday.

Dams most likely to be affected all have considerable storage capacity to absorb inflows without spilling, he said.

Water releases from dams in the vicinity have been scaled back as a precaution.

The Tumut River, which was running abunker earlier in the week amid irrigation releases from Blowering of over 8000 megalitres a day, was today receiving inflows from Blowering of just 560 megalitres.

Blowering is currently at 55 per cent of capacity, and Burrinjuck is at 62 per cent.

Blowering spilled during the October floods of 2016, leading to a prolonged flooding event for farmers along the Tumut River, when authorities released water from the full dam.

“While the BoM is forecasting heavy falls across the central and southern regions of NSW – and heavier falls in Victoria – the dry catchment conditions mean that approximately 40mm of rain must occur before run-off commences,” a WaterNSW spokesperson said.

“The forecast rainfall is likely to result in some good inflows into the southern storages over the coming weeks.

“Rain projections indicate that flooding in these regions will occur downstream of the dams, and landholders should remain vigilant and take precautions to protect stock and equipment.

The increased flows downstream of the dams are likely to trigger a supplementary event for irrigators over the weekend and during next week.

Meanwhile, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is advising visitors to reconsider camping and back country travel in Kosciuszko National Park this weekend in light of severe weather warnings.

Frazer Muir, Acting NPWS Director, said the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting widespread heavy rain and damaging winds over the area from today.

“The safety of our visitors is paramount so we suggest people defer their visit to Kosciuszko’s back country and remote areas of all parks across the southern ranges region,” Mr Muir said.

“Camping in such extreme weather can be dangerous and heavy rains could see some tracks and trails become slippery or impassable over the weekend.

“If the predicated rain and wind arrive, those out in the back country or in camping areas beside rivers, creeks and dams may find themselves stranded and unable to safely get out.

“Rivers and river crossings will also become particularly dangerous and we urge visitors to take all precautions and avoid non-essential travel in these areas.

“Conditions across the high country can change very quickly and can be extreme so to be safe, please consider delaying or modifying your trip to the region’s National Parks this weekend,” Mr Muir added.

For weather forecasts see the BoM website www.bom.gov.au

For more information on WaterNSW visit www.waternsw.com.au