Burrendong Dam could run dry in 2020: WaterNSW have said

Dams going dry, water running low for western towns

Regulated river flows beyond Warren will stop from early spring if current conditions continue, says WaterNSW.

WaterNSW is in the process of looking into a range of measures to address the impacts of drought in the Macquarie Valley to secure water supply for critical needs.

The Dubbo local government area has no water restrictions.Yet places like Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Fletcher International Imports and the Dubbo Golf Club are at risk of reduced access to water without inflows.


Burrendong Dam is at 6.2 per cent storage capacity. Even with further water transfer from Windamere Dam, which is at 33.2 per cent capacity, Burrendong could run dry before June 2020 without significant rainfall.

By March 2020 it is likely the dam will not be able to release water by gravity. WaterNSW will need to pump it from the storage to supply water to towns downstream.

WaterNSW executive manager for system operation Adrian Langdon said the Macquarie valley was in the grip of one of the worst droughts on record.

"With ongoing low inflows and storage levels continuing to decrease, the Macquarie valley is a priority catchment for drought response and WaterNSW is working hard to extend the supply of water to regional towns for as long as possible," Mr Langdon said.

"We are looking at a range of options, including temporary modifications to the Warren weir and our regulators at Duck Creek and Crooked Creek.

"These temporary works would help us to minimise any system losses and extend limited water supplies for Warren, Nyngan and Cobar."

Mr Langdon said across the state, WaterNSW's management of the storages and river system had delayed the worst effects of the drought.