Monthly Water Update

small map representing the district Murray-Darling Basin

Murray–Darling Basin

May 2020 Summary

Rainfall was average or lower than average across 98 per cent of the area with rainfall lowest in the western part of the Basin. Total rainfall was 21 mm, 40 per cent lower than the long-term mean of 35 mm for May.

Due to the wet antecedent conditions resulting from high rainfall in the previous three months, streamflows were average to higher than average in 69 per cent of the gauges across the Basin. However, in 20 per cent of gauges in the Basin, especially in the northeast, streamflows were lower than average. The Murray River at Jingellic had the highest streamflow for May since 1980. The Lachlan River Downstream Wyangala and the Peel River at Piallamore had the lowest streamflow for May since 1980.

Median streamflow salinity (electrical conductivity) varied between sites from 27 to 6084 μS/cm. Streamflows were high quality for 65 per cent of the sites and fresh for 23 per cent of the sites. Burra Creek at Worlds End (Low Flow) had the highest salinity of all sites.

During May, storage volumes increased in ten systems, decreased in four and remained stable in four. By the end of the month, the volume of water stored was 35 per cent of the total accessible capacity, which is seven per cent higher 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 0%
Very much above average Less than 1%
Above average 2%
Average 61%
Below average 35%
Very much below average 2%
Lowest on record since 1900 0%

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