The Department of Primary Industry (DPI) has confirmed water will soon make its way down from the Barwon-Darling systems to irrigators in the New South Wales Lower Darling region, providing welcome relief.
The DPI Water Deputy Director General Gavin Hanlon confirmed the flows and said they represent the best flows into the Menindee lakes systems in about three years.
“While we won’t know the precise volumes for a number of weeks, it is expected that at least 100,000 megalitres will reach Menindee,” Mr Hanlon said.
“Flows will be restored to the parched Lower Darling River as soon as practicable, to provide urgent relief for landholders currently doing it tough.
“These flows will provide landholders with domestic and stock water supplies and will replenish the block banks downstream of Pooncarie to support permanent plantings.”
Mr Hanlon said releases of the water to the Lower Darling can safely commence by mid July 2016, with the release of an initial pulse followed by lower flows extending well into Spring.
Mr Hanlon also said the benefits of widespread rain are being felt right across New South Wales.
“It is also good news for Broken Hill because it means that surface water supplies can be extended for another year,” Mr Hanlon said.