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Drought information meeting in Bourke River flows not enough

Major speakers at the Drought Meeting in Bourke last Wednesday – Executive Manager Systems Operations for WaterNSW, Adrian Landon (left) and Water Policy Coordinator for NSW Department of Industry – Water, Michael Wrathall (far right) discussing river and drought issues with concerned local residents – Sally Torr and Jack Bennett Photo: TWH

WaterNSW has issued a disturbing picture of water levels in the state’s major rivers, with a warning that the extreme dry is likely to continue for months.

A series of community meetings across the region attracted interested stakeholders who heard the bald facts about river water levels - and it wasn’t good news.

About 25 locals attended a drought meeting at Diggers last Wednesday, when NSW Water Policy Coordinator Michael Wrathall urged people to continue conserving water.

“The drought is biting hard and people are interested in forecasts and strategies,” Mr Wrathall said.

“We’re giving people information about how we manage drought throughout NSW, as well as updates on surface and ground water availability.”

WaterNSW Manager Adrian Langdon pointed to the Macquarie River system and its Burrendong Dam as a good example of rivers and dams running dry.

“We are now considering pumping dead storage in Burrendong, and maybe we’ll have enough water for critical needs until March next year,” Mr Langdon said.

“But after that we will not have enough water in storage to run the Macquarie River, and all towns along the Macquarie will be critically short of water.”

Mr Wrathall urged people not to get information from social media and said it was important to have the most recent and accurate information to enable the right decisions to be made as the drought continues.

Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.

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