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Dam level increases provide some respite for drought affected irrigators


Inflows into Mary River Barrage and Boondooma Dam have provided drought affected irrigators in the Boyne River and Maryborough region a temporary relief from the medium priority water cut-off, following recent rainfall in the catchments.

Mary River Barrage filled to full supply volume of 12,000 megalitres on 17 March and is currently spilling; Boondooma Dam received a 5000 megalitre boost which equates to a three per cent increase, bringing the storage to 36.7 per cent of full supply volume.

Southern region irrigators in the Upper Condamine and St George also received good news, with some flow in the Condamine River and a predicted 10,000 megalitre increase expected for Beardmore Dam.

Coolmunda Dam in the Macintyre Brook also received an inflow of 10,000 megalitres, boosting the storage volume by 14 per cent to 87.4 per cent of full supply volume.

SunWater Executive General Manager Operations and Service Mr Colin Bendall said the recent inflows are relatively minor but are a welcome reprieve for irrigators who have battled extremely dry conditions and critically low storage levels.

"It’s been really tough for our irrigators - particularly those in the Boyne and Mary River water supply schemes who have been unable to access water from Mary River Barrage and Boondooma Dam for the past few weeks," Mr Bendall said.

"Ideally we would like to see more significant inflows into some of our storages, but right now we’ll welcome any increase that enables us to deliver much needed water to irrigators."

Mr Bendall says SunWater will be focused on maximising the available water to customers: "Our local staff will be working hard to make sure we can deliver water as efficiently as possible. Close communication with our irrigator advisory committees and customers will be critical to efficient scheduling and delivery."

Water supply for medium priority allocation customers in the Mary River and Boyne River water supply schemes was cut-off earlier in the month due to the critically low storage levels. The medium priority cut-off for both schemes was lifted on 15 March following inflows that brought both storages above the critical water supply level.

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