Rain sparks ‘refilling process’ for Murray

Rain sparks ‘refilling process’ for Murray

David Mark for AM, Tuesday December 29, 2009 – 10:42 EDT

The rain that has been bucketing down in the north of New South Wales is falling in the Darling River catchment, but it is hard to say if the water will make it all the way down the Murray River.

Even so, there is optimism that the rain will soak the system, making it easier for future falls to flow south.

Murray-Darling system to get boost: NSW

January 29, 2010

Ms Keneally said new figures showed 800-900 gigalitres of water will now flow into the Menindee Lakes system – 100 gigalitres more than what was expected.

“As a result of the increase in water expected to reach the system, releases from the lakes system to the Lower Darling have been increased to 12 billion litres a day,” Ms Keneally said on Friday after visiting Wentworth in western NSW, where the Darling and Murray rivers meet.

Ms Keneally said greater than expected inflows from rainfall over Christmas gave NSW an opportunity to allow more water releases across the border for South Australia, while also providing additional water to NSW farmers.

“Irrigators in the NSW Lower Darling are now benefiting from an increase of their allocation to 100 per cent, while irrigators in the NSW Murray had their allocation increased to 13 per cent,” she said.

Last Tuesday, after weeks of bickering between NSW and SA about how much water would be released, NSW agreed to release 148 gigalitres of much-needed water into the parched Lower Lakes region of SA.

‘Best rain in years’ drenches central NSW

Brad Markham, Monday February 15, 2010 – 17:32 EDT


Parts of central west New South Wales have experienced their best rain in more than a decade, causing flooding and filling farm dams.

One farm at Tullamore, near Parkes, received a drenching, with 230 millimetres of rain falling there over the weekend.

Other good falls across the region included 150mm at Grenfell, 130mm at Condobolin and Parkes, 112mm at Hillston and 110mm at Forbes.

Forecasters say it was the wettest three days for Forbes in at least 15 years.

Farm dams are overflowing and dry creeks are springing to life. Once-parched paddocks now have a green tinge, while others lie submerged under water.

Chris Groves, who grows grain and farms sheep and cattle at Cowra, says rain is the best he has seen in more than a decade.

Farmers enjoy weekend soaking

Chrissy Arthur, Monday February 15, 2010 – 08:11 EDT


“It’s the best rain we’ve had here for some time and it’s a nice time of the year to get it, we had a few storms earlier … we hadn’t had much at all and this is the first time we’d shared in it, so it’s very welcome.”

More environmental flows in the Snowy


The river is forecast to rise by more than half a metre until Thursday, from 100 megalitres to 870ml a day.

It follows the first round of environmental flows in late January.

The Snowy River Alliance’s John Gallard says he hopes the flows will be a regular event.

“Let’s hope so,” he said.

“I mean we’re seeing increases in the flows in the Murray Darling system, and we’re seeing increases in the flows on the South East sector of the Snowy, so it can only benefit the river.”

Mr Gallard says the heavy rain made little impact on the river, particularly in the upper areas.

Flooded with hope – will our rivers flow?

Bryan Littlely March 09, 2010 12:01AM

Queensland towns are under water and some regions are being likened to “inland seas” following record rainfalls that have dumped an estimated 403,000 billion litres of rain across Northern Territory and Queensland in the past fortnight.

As those floodwaters, which have cut off towns in southwest Queensland, destroyed vast expanses of cotton crops and drowned livestock, slowly wash down the Warrego and Balonne rivers towards the upper reaches of the Darling River, our river experts are getting excited.

Adding to their excitement yesterday were reports Wagga Wagga and parts of the Murrumbidgee River also were flooding.

When you put it all together, it is a bit exciting,” Adelaide Environment Institute executive director Mike Young said.

“I have not seen any numbers (on how much water has flooded southwest Queensland) but it is clear it is going to be a significant amount.

The Darling is already very wet from floods in January and the floodwaters will come down it fairly fast because of that – it is like the pipeline is full.”

Mr Young said the Murray/Murrumbidgee system will deliver water to South Australia, but it was the Darling system that would “get us out of jail”.

“This (flooding) is good news but we’ve still got a long way to go. The Lower Lakes need somewhere in the area of 2000 gigalitres to be restored.”

Feb-March 2010 floods

Feb-March 2010 floods

As one lakes region comes to life, another is saved from death

  • Asa Wahlquist, Rural writer
  • From: The Australian
  • February 13, 2010 12:00AM

OUT at the Menindee Lakes, the drought-parched land is turning green, the pink-eared ducks and gray teal are arriving and the mammals are breeding.

But the greatest benefit to come from the flooding rains that swept northwest NSW at the beginning of the year is happening almost 1000km away.

As NSW releases up to 450 gigalitres of water from the lakes in the state’s far west to flow down to the Murray River, South Australia is releasing its 170GL environmental reserve supply to flow into the freshwater Lower Lakes, rescuing them from either catastrophic acidification or being inundated with seawater.

Since the rains hit northwestern NSW early last month, causing widespread flooding, 600GL have flowed into Menindee Lakes. The NSW Office of Water expects a total of between 850GL and 900GL. The flood peak passed through Wilcannia on Thursday, but the water will keep flowing for another month.

Floods promise Murray boost

By Chris Logan

Updated Mon Mar 8, 2010 1:46pm AEDT


Darling River

Floodwaters heading south (User submitted: Larry Bearman)


A river expert says the floodwaters affecting south-west Queensland will eventually help the Murray River’s lower lakes.

Professor Richard Kingsford from the University of New South Wales says the floods will contribute hundreds of thousands of megalitres of water to the Darling River, before running into the Murray.

“Certainly the last floods a few months ago delivered hundreds of thousands of megalitres into Menindee Lakes and this is obviously going to go on the top of that,” Professor Kingsford said.

“It’s a much larger flood than the last one, which means that a lot of the water will get into Menindee Lakes and then a significant amount of it will go down the Darling and into the River Murray.”

He says the current floodwaters should buy the lower lakes more time.

“Depending on how much of it actually gets down through there will also mean that those lakes will have enough water to last them even longer, maybe up to a year,” Professor Kingsford said.

“One hopes that in that time we might get some of the southern rivers running a bit more.”

Rain sparks ‘magic’ desert transformation

Chrissy Arthur, Monday March 15, 2010 – 09:00 EDT


An Indigenous elder in Queensland’s far south-west says Birdsville is greener and lusher than it has been in more than 60 years.

Don Rowlands, the ranger in charge of the Simpson Desert National Park, says there has been massive transformation of the countryside after big rain and flooding in the region.

The national park was due to reopen this week but Mr Rowlands says it could be the end of May before tourists can get in.

He says the desert wildflowers later this year will be “magic”.

“Some big swamps or lakes that haven’t been filled for a long time are brimming,” he said.

“There are even places where I haven’t seen water before and I’ve been here for 60 plus years – so there’s a fair chance that nobody’s ever seen some of these places filled with water.

“That in itself is an amazing thing to see.”

Lake Eyre in line for second deluge

Lake Eyre could be on track for a wetter year than 2009’s long-awaited drenching, delivering the best combination of years for Australia’s inland waterways in two decades.

Last year’s flow into the massive outback salt lake was heralded as the best in nine years, and gave numerous species – particularly birds – a desperately needed chance to breed.

After heavy rains in Queensland over recent months, one of Australia’s leading environmental scientists – University of NSW professor Richard Kingsford – said 2010 could be even wetter at the ephemeral lake.

”It may well get more water than it did last year,” he told The Age this week.

Floodwaters reach Lake Eyre

By Chrissy Arthur

Updated Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:39am AEDT

The first floodwaters from Queensland’s far south-west are flowing into Lake Eyre in South Australia.

For the second consecutive year, tourists are expected to flock to the region in the coming months to see the salt lake transformed by flooding.

Professor Richard Kingsford from the University of New South Wales says there could be enough water in the Cooper Creek system to make it to Lake Eyre, which has not happened since 1990.

But he says water from the Diamantina has started to arrive.

Outback ready for good times to flow

By Nance Haxton

Updated Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:50am AEDT


Queensland floodwaters are slowly making their way to South Australia, bringing great excitement to outback towns. Remote cattle stations are battening down for a couple of months of isolation in the hope that the good times will flow after that. The township of Innamincka on the banks of the Cooper Creek in South Australia’s far north-east channel country is now completely surrounded by water… The vast Innamincka station expects to be cut off for at least two months… “The creek can run kilometres wide in flood times like this. [We] haven’t had this much water since the 1990 flood,” she said. “It’s going to be an excellent season for probably at least two years and we’ve been waiting probably 12 years for this to happen.” … “You’ve got road damage and fence damage and all those sorts of things, but when you’ve got plenty of water and plenty of feed, those things aren’t so bad.” Until the floodwaters recede, she is savouring the unusual view from her Innamincka homestead. “We’ve got a nice river frontage view at the moment,” she said.

… as local pilot Trevor Wright explains, it also brings the birdlife.  “It’s really caught me by surprise. I never expected that we’d have two years in a row like this,” he said. “I think with the breeding season they had last year … this year we’re going to have a lot more water birds than what we’ve had previously. “Having flown around the lake this morning where the water is, that’s one of the things – especially pelican numbers – that’s really surprised me.”

While some townships are cut off, others are enjoying the unexpected boon. Oodnadatta roadhouse owner Adam Plate says the economic boost has spread far and wide throughout the outback.

Record rainfall transforms Red Centre

Sara Everingham, Monday April 12, 2010 – 11:00 EST


It’s just a total transformation, it’s like the whole country has put on a different coat,” he said.

Lea Laughton, an Indigenous woman from the Alice Springs area, works as a guide at the park, and says the rain has produced an abundance of bush foods and medicine.

“All of the grass is just starting to shoot, like the kangaroo grasses and the native mullet grasses, which were used traditionally to make damper and bread and stuff like that,” she said.

“The native apple bush is starting to come up, that’s used for colds and stuff … and a lot of that limestone rock fuchsia is starting to come up. That’s used for washing your body if you’ve got sores on your body and stuff like that.”

This is a part of a series…

4 responses to “Rain sparks ‘refilling process’ for Murray

  1. Pingback: The Aussie rain miracles – the proof, part 2 | Faith. Hope. Love.·

  2. Pingback: Lakes and rivers to run again in Australia | Faith. Hope. Love.·

  3. Pingback: Rivers and lakes – part 2 | Faith. Hope. Love.·

  4. Pingback: Murray River (finally) begins to run – fulfillment of prophecy | Faith. Hope. Love.·

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