Hume Dam releases increased

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More water being released: Releases from the Hume Dam are aerated to increase the oxygen level.

More water is being released from the Hume Dam following further rainfall in the catchment.

Murray Darling Basin Authority acting chief executive Andrew Reynolds said the releases from the dam, which is at 99 per cent of capacity, were increased to 17 Gl/day.

On Monday, 27mm of rain fell over the dam in a short period, reducing airspace to 20Gl, prompting river operators to increase releases to create airspace on Monday morning.

“We anticipate flows downstream of Hume Dam will remain within the river channel however if rain and run-off are higher than expected, we may need to increase the release of water in the days ahead,’’ Mr Reynolds said.

“The situation is quite dynamic, and our river operators are working round the clock and in close consultation with the Bureau of Meteorology and WaterNSW to manage releases from Hume Dam.”

The Bureau is forecasting moderate rainfall for the rest of the week, with likely falls in the range of 10-25mm, although this can vary widely across the ranges and localised heavier falls are possible.

Mr Reynolds said the MDBA’s priority was keeping the dam safe, capturing and storing water and, where it could, mitigating floods.

“With higher flows now in transit from Hume Dam and entering the Murray River from the Kiewa and Ovens rivers, low-level over-bank flows through the Barmah-Millewa Forest are expected to occur in coming days.

“The way we release water from Hume Dam is also considering water quality, with blue-green algae currently affecting the dam and low dissolved oxygen levels present immediately downstream.

“To help manage low dissolved oxygen, we are releasing some water through the valves. This creates a spray which entrains oxygen into the water as it enters the river,’’ Mr Reynolds said.