Monthly Water Update

small map representing the district Murray-Darling Basin

Murray–Darling Basin

February 2020 Summary

Rainfall was higher than average across 65 per cent of the area, mostly in the north and east. Total rainfall was 79 mm, 80 per cent higher than the long-term mean of 44 mm for February.

Streamflows followed a similar pattern to rainfall with most of the higher than average flows occurring in the north. At Talbragar River at Elong, Balonne River at St George and Castlereagh River at Hidden Valley, streamflows were highest for February since 1980. Not all of the rivers received the increased inflows. The Macquarie River at Dubbo, Darling River at Menindee Upstream Weir 32, Peel River at Piallamore, Billabong Creek at Walbundrie and Lachlan River at Lake Cargelligo Weir had streamflows that were the lowest for February since 1980.

Median streamflow salinity (electrical conductivity) varied between sites from 28 to 7051 μS/cm. Streamflows were high quality for 66 per cent and fresh for another 23 per cent of the sites. The Darling River at Downstream Weir 19A had the highest salinity of all sites.

During February, storage volumes increased in ten systems, decreased in seven and remained stable in one. All of the larger systems in the norther remain below 20 per cent. By the end of the month, the volume of water stored was 27 per cent of the total accessible capacity, which is six per cent lower than the previous year.

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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 Less than 1%
Very much above average 24%
Above average 40%
Average 33%
Below average 2%
Very much below average Less than 1%
Lowest on record since 1900 0%

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