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National Water Account 2018

Sydney: Outlook for 2019 Account

as at 20 February 2019

  • Rainfall was mostly average to below average across the region during the 2018–19 year to date.
  • Average rainfall conditions are expected for the rest of the 2018–19 year.
  • Storage levels at 30 June 2019 are expected to be less than the same time last year.

 

 

 

For further information on the expected inflows and future commitments for the region during the 2018–19 year scroll down this page.

 

Future prospects

Figure S19 Water outlook for the Sydney region for 2018–19

Figure S19 Water outlook for the Sydney region for 2018–19

 

  • Outflows and discharges from the region's storages are expected to exceed inflows, which is likely to result in a decrease in water assets at the end of the year.

 

Expected inflows


Figure S20 Financial year-to-date and monthly rainfall deciles for the Sydney region during the 2018–19 year

 

  • Rainfall during the first three months (July–September 2018), as well as February 2019, was below average; all other months had average to above-average rainfall.

 


Figure S21 Storage levels for the Sydney region during the 2018–19 year so far compared to the same time last year

 

  • Storages were 60% full at 8 February 2019 compared to 79% full at the same time last year.
  • Except for small increases in storage levels in late November and mid-December 2018 following rainfall events in these months, storages have declined for most of the year.

 

Figure S22 Chance of exceeding median rainfall for the Sydney region for March–Mayl 2019
Figure S22 Chance of exceeding median rainfall for the Sydney region for March–May 2019

 

  • According to the Bureau of Meteorology's climate outlook (from 14 February 2019), rainfall during the next few months (March–May 2019) is likely to be near the median for the region.
  • The Bureau's ENSO Outlook is currently at El Niño watch, meaning there is a 50% chance of El Niño developing in autumn.
  • Total annual rainfall for the 2018–19 year is expected to be below average.

 

Future commitments

  • Water use in 2018–19 is expected to be similar to the previous year as it generally changes little from year to year.
  • The Sydney desalination plant was restarted on 27 January 2019. It is estimated that the plant will be delivering potable water to the region's water supply system before the end of the 2018–19 year.