Dams face min­i­mal changes

Late wet sea­son im­pacts wa­ter al­lo­ca­tion for new year

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Philippe Coquerand philippe.coquerand@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

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