Burrendong’s storage level drops below 40 per cent

WATER STILL FLOWING: Storage at Burrendong Dam has dropped below the 40 per cent mark but officials are not concerned. Photo: WATER NSW
WATER STILL FLOWING: Storage at Burrendong Dam has dropped below the 40 per cent mark but officials are not concerned. Photo: WATER NSW

The storage level at Burrendong Dam has dropped below 40 per cent, but authorities say that is no cause for immediate concern. 

According to Water NSW, on Monday the dam was at 39.4 per cent of its capacity.

At a similar point prior to Easter in 2016 it was down to just 12 per cent before significant rain in September of that year pushed it back towards 100 per cent.

Looking back even further, the floods of 2010 saw capacity push past 120 per cent as part of a flood surge.

A long, hot and dry summer has conspired to drag storage down, but Water NSW spokesman Tony Webber said it’s definitely not panic stations.

“Obviously everyone would probably love to see the figure higher but the fact is there is still a lot of water and a lot of supply,” Mr Webber said.

“Since that significant rain event in 2016 there has only been modest, intermittent amounts flowing into the dam.

“The figure of 39.4 per cent reflects the dry and very hot conditions that have been prevalent for the past few months, which not only have halted inflows but also increased consumption.

“We would be looking for the storage to be replenished by falls in winter and spring, which is quite often the case.”

In his weekly Dubbo Catches column, keen fisherman Matt Hansen indicated the low levels could provide a bonanza for anglers at the upcoming Lake Burrendong Easter Classic, organised by the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association.

“At Easter time last year Lake Burrendong sat at a swollen 89 per cent, with plenty of fresh food in the system and quite a bit of water in between the fish,” Mr Hansen writes in column, which appears on page 17 of today’s Daily Liberal.

“This year, it’s a completely different set of cards with dense belts of previously sunken trees, long rocky points and steep cliff-like rock walls now easily accessible to anglers fishing both vertically and casting. 

“The favourable fishing conditions seem to have the Yellowbelly on the bite, with great reports flooding in from both local and visiting fishos.”