Monthly Water Update

small map representing the district Murray-Darling Basin

Murray–Darling Basin

August 2019 Summary

Dry conditions continued to prevail with rainfall very much below average across 44 per cent of the area primarily in the west and centre of the drainage division. Mean rainfall was 11 mm – 68 per cent lower than the long-term mean of 34 mm for August and the eighth lowest August in the past 120 years.

Due to the continuing dry catchment conditions, streamflow was very much below average in the northern Basin, including lowest on record since 1980 at 43 per cent of locations. In the southern Basin, streamflow was average to very much below average.

Streamflow was fresh or better quality for 70 per cent of the sites and brackish for 14 per cent of the sites with median streamflow salinity (electrical conductivity) varying from 26 to 25 195 μS/cm. Darling River at Downstream Weir 19A had the highest salinity of all sites.

By the end of August, the volume of water stored across the basin was 36 per cent of the total accessible capacity, a decrease of 18 per cent from the same time last year. Across the basin during August, the total accessible volume increased in eight systems; decreased in two and remained stable in eight. The storages in the northern basin showed the lowest total accessible volume, with most being less than 20 per cent.

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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 8%
Below average 48%
Very much below average 43%
Lowest on record since 1900 1%

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