Dry conditions trigger water quality concerns

By Jamie Salter

Continuing dry conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin have triggered water quality concerns.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority chief executive Phillip Glyde said recent rainfall in the northern basin was not enough to significantly impact water storage levels.

“We saw no rain in the southern basin this fortnight and higher than average temperatures are cause for concern as we brace for a dry summer,” Mr Glyde said.

“Although northern catchments got some significant rainfall during November, dry soils and high temperatures mean that very little rain made its way into our rivers or storages.”

The areas being monitored in NSW include Lake Wyangan at Griffith, Lake Wetherell in the Menindee Lakes, Lake Burrendong in the central-west and Commissioners Waters east of Armidale, as well as Tullaroop Reservoir in Victoria.

“Realistically, we will need to see significant rainfall over several months to improve overall basin storage levels which have again fallen,” Mr Glyde said.

“We’re monitoring water quality continuously and want to also advise communities that areas of the basin are on high alert for blue-green algae outbreaks.”

The NSW Government has fast-tracked water infrastructure projects and approved the delivery of emergency water supplies to some communities experiencing critical shortages.

Mr Glyde said the Murray-Darling Basin Authority would work with state governments to manage water quality risks throughout the drought.

To read the drought update, visit the MDBA website: www.mdba.gov.au/droughtupdate