With local dams suffering significant water shortages, WaterNSW is meeting with customers and other water users in the state’s far north and far south coasts to discuss the future of water usage and availability.
Toonumbar Dam near Kyogle in the state’s north sits at 28 per cent of storage capacity, down from 95 per cent at the start of the year and having been at 100 per cent for most of 2018.
Brogo Dam near Bega on the south coast, is currently at 36 per cent of storage capacity and falling, down from 100 per cent in May 2019.
Both dams are in regions typically blessed with high rainfall and comparatively low demand for water released from these storages, but the intense drought gripping regional NSW has resulted in record low inflows into both dams and coincided with a surge in demand from downstream users.
WaterNSW met with key Brogo stakeholders in Bega recently, where attendees were advised that a continuation of the current circumstances will likely see general security availability exhausted by as soon as early 2020.
WaterNSW met with Toonumbar stakeholders on 10 December in Casino with a similar message, according to WaterNSW executive manager, Adrian Langdon.
“Both these dams are located in areas of quite dependable rainfall, and typically spend much of the time with storages at or near capacity and with only modest demand from downstream water customers,” Mr Langdon said.
“As we have seen elsewhere across NSW, drought conditions have turned this conventional wisdom on its head, and we face the prospect of falling storages, already reduced to a third of their capacity, if the drought conditions aren’t alleviated by inflows generated by significant rain.”