The planned transfer of up to 25 gigalitres (GL) of water from Windamere Dam to Burrendong Dam in early February will be the focus of a meeting in Mudgee on January 16.
WaterNSW will meet with Cudgegong Valley customers from 9am to noon at The Stables to "keep them abreast" of the bulk water transfer, one of the measures being employed to keep water moving down the Macquarie River and into communities such as Dubbo "well beyond winter".
"Burrendong Dam is currently at 1.8 per cent of capacity and experiencing acute drought conditions, with chronically low inflows in the past 12 months and a predicted storage capacity of 1.2 per cent by the end of January," a WaterNSW spokesman said.
He reported that under existing bulk water transfer protocol and the terms of the Macquarie-Cudgegong water sharing plan, at least 70GL of water must be retained in Windamere Dam, which has been sitting at 27 per cent of capacity.
"WaterNSW modelling indicates 70GL will provide at least five years of water security to Cudgegong water users," the spokesman said.
Dubbo Regional Council has received $30 million from the state government to increase its groundwater supplies.
The bulk water transfer and pumping of remnant storage water at Burrendong Dam aims to give it time to undertake works.
WaterNSW reports that the bid to conserve water in Burrendong Dam has involved "gradually restricting access to users and suspending environmental releases and carryover", in unprecedented drought conditions.
The Macquarie River's long-term annual average inflow is 1450GL but in the five months from July 1 last year it has received just 5GL.
The previous bulk water transfer between the two dams occurred in January 2019, with the intended delivery of 35GL halted at 10GL after rain led to inflows at Burrendong Dam.
WaterNSW reports that it will continue to review the need for any further bulk water transfers and keep communities informed.
For WaterNSW drought management information visit: www.waternsw.com.au/supply/drought-information
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.