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Good Darling flows expected for months

Big flows in the Darling River at Bourke have drowned out the Bourke Weir and a big river below minor flood level will continue for months. Photo TWH
WaterNSW Operations Manager, Adrian Langdon. Photo TWH

With the drought now well and truly broken, hopes are high that the good river flows will continue for at least the next two months.

Good rainfall across the Northern basin has seen the river system filled from top to bottom. Minor to moderate flooding has been occurring in upstream tributaries of the Barwon-Darling River, including the McIntyre River, the Gil Gil Creek, and the Moonie and Weir Rivers, with good inflows from the Gwydir, Namoi and Castlereagh Rivers.

Walgett, Brewarrina, and Bourke are flowing at over 12,000 megalitres per day with predictions for minor flooding south of Mungindi, and closer to home if the wet weather continues.

Manager of System Operations at WaterNSW Adrian Langdon said he was excited about the prospects of healthy river flows right up until the latter part of the year.

“In March we had good conditions in the northern catchment around Goondiwindi and the Border area which meant recovery at last from drought and water flows right through to the Menindee Lakes,” he said.

“Since then, we have had several wet weather events and the catchments are still wet from the recent rainfall which we’ve been getting every few weeks, so that is very good news.

“We’ve had 50,000 megalitres per day at Goondiwindi, with an expected 13-15,000 at Walgett and Brewarrina working its way down to Bourke, and beyond.

“This week Bourke is flowing above 12,000 megalitres per day, with the Bourke weir drowned out, and we’ve had more rain events up north, so those good flows will continue to make their way down the system.

“Flooding will continue in the Border Rivers for two to three weeks until it gets to Mungindi where we’ll see some really good, high flows,” Mr Langdon said.

“The big differential between the amount of water flowing past Goondiwindi and the amount subsequently heading for Bourke is due to the nature of the river system,” he said.

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