Dams face minimal changes
Late wet season impacts water allocation for new year
IRRIGATORS in the Burnett region face minimal changes from SunWater in the lead-up to the 2017-2018 water year.
The Boondooma Dam is predicted to have 100% water allocation within the next three to four months, and the Wuruma Dam is predicted to have 100% this financial year, with no changes in place.
SunWater executive general manager of operations, Colin Bendall, said storage inflows from ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie provided a welcome boost to some of the state’s central region dams.
“This year’s wet season was later than expected; however we were fortunate to get inflows in some of the state’s drought declared regions – particularly storages in the central region such as the Mary River Barrage and Boondooma Dam that dropped to critically low levels earlier in the year,” Mr Bendall said.
“In schemes affected by lower announced allocations, we will be working with our customers to minimise losses and be as flexible as we can with rostering and delivery to maximise available water.”
SunWater announced a percentage of water allocation for customers in each of its water supply schemes across Queensland at the start of the water year on July 1.
The announced allocation indicates the maximum volume of water available to customers in the water year and is calculated based on the amount of water in the storage as well as variable factors such as predicted evaporation, seepage and use.
“The majority of our irrigators hold ‘medium priority’ water allocations, which do not have the same level of security as ‘high priority’ water allocations and are typically supplied for use by towns and industrial customers, including mines and power stations,” he said.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting less rainfall and higher than normal temperatures over parts of Australia during winter and spring, which could impede the allocations.
In the longer term, BOM is on watch for a developing El-Nino.
The weather system could mean drier than average conditions throughout Eastern Australia coming into the 2018 wet season.
The new water allocations by SunWater will take place on July 1.