Parched Dams in Eastern NSW Filling With Rain

February 9, 2020Australiashare
Parched Dams in Eastern NSW Filling With Rain
A general view of Warragamba Dam in Sydney, Australia on Oct. 23, 2019. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

Parched dams around Sydney are having their best inflows in years as heavy rainfall continues to drench eastern NSW.

Government water supplier WaterNSW says Warragamba Dam west of Sydney is forecast to receive its best top up since April 2017.

Warragamba Dam, the primary source of water for urban Sydney, was sitting near 44 percent of capacity on Sunday afternoon—still lower than last year’s levels at 61 percent—and was predicted to rise to 55 percent.

The increase was equal to recouping nine months of water supply in less than a week, WaterNSW said.

While water catchments in eastern parts of the state have received a boost, other drought-stricken inland areas have not been so lucky.

The Burrendong Dam, which serves major regional areas in western NSW such as Dubbo, was at just one percent capacity on Sunday, according to WaterNSW.

Ash and debris left after the recent bushfire crisis are likely to wash into the Warragamba catchment but will not impact water quality.

“Any surface debris is being avoided by extracting water from 30 metres below the surface as a precaution,” a WaterNSW spokesman said.

Two booms—also known as silt curtains—have been placed upstream of the dam to catch silt before it reaches the dam itself.

Other dams serving the metropolitan Sydney area, including the Nepean, Cataract, Avon and Woronora dams, have all recieved a welcome top up, WaterNSW added.

The Tallowa Dam in the Shoalhaven area has also started to fill.

Level 2 water restrictions remain in place for the Sydney metropolitan area and at varying levels for other parts of the state ranging from none to “emergency” level 5 for Tamworth, Moonbi, Kootingal and Walgett—banning all residential outdoor use of treated town or council water, according to the Bureau of Meterology website.

By Steven Trask. With additional reporting by NTD staff.

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