Monthly Water Update

small map representing the district Murray-Darling Basin

Murray–Darling Basin

September 2017 Summary

Rainfall was very much below average (including lowest on record) across 70% of the area, spread throughout the drainage division. Mean rainfall was 7 mm, 79% lower than the 1900 to 2016 mean of 33 mm for September. Rainfall was the lowest for September in the past 118 years.

Streamflows were average or lower than average for 96% of the sites. Castlereagh River at Hidden Valley had the lowest streamflow for September since 1980.

Median streamflow salinities varied between 43 and 5657 microSiemens/cm. Streamflows were high quality or fresh for 74% of the sites and brackish for 18% of the sites. Burra Creek at Worlds End (Low Flow) had the highest salinity of all sites.

During September, storage volumes increased in six systems, decreased in 10 and remained stable in one. By the end of the month, the volume of water stored was 74% of the total accessible capacity, a decrease of 2% from the previous year. Water storage in the Menindee system dropped by 3% during the month due to flow release for the benefit of native fish in the lower Darling River. Water stored in the SA Murray system increased by 19% during the month due to restore water to assist in meeting South Australia's flow entitlement for the coming months.

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map visualising rainfall details


map visualising streamflow details

Streamflow salinity

map visualising salinity details

Water storages

map visualising storage details


map visualising rainfall details for Murray-Darling Basin

Rainfall statistics

Rainfall decile group Percentage of area
Highest on record since 1900 0%
Very much above average 0%
Above average Less than 1%
Average 4%
Below average 27%
Very much below average 63%
Lowest on record since 1900 7%

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