Northern dam levels replenished

Hughenden lake opens as dam levels rise in the north

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Hughenden's recreation lake pictured early in the week, when it was about half full. Another half a metre of water has been added since this was taken. Picture - Jane McNamara.

Hughenden's recreation lake pictured early in the week, when it was about half full. Another half a metre of water has been added since this was taken. Picture - Jane McNamara.

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Whether they're for recreation, irrigation, town supply or a mixture of them all, dams in the state's north have generally been recording good inflows in the past few days.

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Whether they're for recreation, irrigation, town supply or a mixture of them all, dams in the state's north have generally been recording good inflows in the past few days, thanks to a rain band that brought some good falls.

They include Hughenden's new recreation lake, which was opened to the public on Australia Day, and the Chinaman Creek Dam at Cloncurry, which reached capacity on Wednesday.

Flinders shire mayor Jane McNamara said the community's newest sport and leisure facility had gone from zero to 1.2m in depth in a week, all from overland flow, and the level was now at 1.7m.

Water has been pouring in from two of three overland flow inlets, and pumping from the Flinders River is ongoing while that river is flowing.

Related: Water flows for Hughenden lake

Cr McNamara said around 100 people had been present at the lake's opening and families were now enjoying barbecues and taking advantages of the walking tracks and play areas.

Once the water is tested the lake itself will be open for swimming and non-motorised water sports, expected to be this weekend, but will need another metre of water in it before motor boats can use it.

The communities of Cloncurry and Mount Isa were also relieved to see good inflows to dams in their areas this week, including the Chinaman Creek Dam at Cloncurry, which reached full capacity and was spilling on Thursday.

Sunwater's Julius Dam near Mount Isa was at full capacity by Wednesday afternoon and began spilling, while East Leichhardt Dam was also full.

Lake Corella was still filling and Lake Moondarra was at 73.3 per cent.

The vast majority of Sunwater's 19 dams have received inflows from the rain events of the last fortnight.

According to a spokesman, some of the initial rain was likely to have been absorbed within the catchments in certain locations, considering the parched conditions.

"However, with further rain experienced over the past week we are seeing more become catchment run-off and making its way into our storages," he said. "Depending on the location, it can take a few days or more for (that) to reach water storages, so we may still see more water level rises."

With the most significant rainfall occurring in the state's north, a number of dams there experienced good storage level rises, including the Burdekin Falls Dam south of Townsville, which has risen from under 60 per cent to about 80pc in the last 72 hours.

With run-off continuing to make its way to the dam, it's possible this could near capacity by the weekend.

More than 57,000 megalitres of inflow to Fairbairn Dam near Emerald has seen its capacity move up to a meagre 13.5pc.

Fairbairn Dam levels in March 2019.

Fairbairn Dam levels in March 2019.

Elsewhere in the Nogoa Mackenzie system, Bedford Weir is at 113pc capacity, Bingegang Weir is at 121pc, and Tartrus Weir is at 111pc.

Teemburra, Eungella and Kinchant Dams west of Mackay have all received inflows over the past week - Teemburra is at 88pc, Eungella is at 86pc, and Kinchant is at 50pc - and Tinaroo Falls Dam in the Mareeba Dimbulah system is 65pc capacity.

There have been some good inflows at Sunwater dams in Queensland's south, including those that have been experiencing low levels in recent months.

Leslie Dam near Warwick received an inflow of 3330 megalitres last week, increasing the capacity from 4.6pc to 7.7pc.

Beardmore Dam near St George has seen its level rise 5pc to 9.25pc. According to the Sunwater spokesman, this dam has a large catchment and it can take some time for inflows to reach it.

"Whilst these inflows have been encouraging, it is worth noting further falls are required in coming weeks and months to significantly increase the dams' levels," he said. "Sunwater remains hopeful that water storage levels will continue to rise."

To find out the latest information about water storage levels, visit the Sunwater website or download the Sunwater App.

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