Water levels on the increase

Lake Rowlands is currently 46 per cent of capacity. The Lachlan River water level at Cowra (inset) had risen this week following good weekend rain.
Lake Rowlands is currently 46 per cent of capacity. The Lachlan River water level at Cowra (inset) had risen this week following good weekend rain.

Above overage rainfall during the first six months of 2020 has seen a steady rise in water levels across the region with NSW Water catchments rising from January lows.

Above average falls have seen the water level at Wyangala Dam rise from a low of 11.3 per cent of capacity at the beginning of January to just over 16 per cent of capacity this week providing added security for water users along the Lachlan River.

Wyangala had received 323.8mm of rain up until June 23 with 12.4mm recorded in January, 39.2mm in February, 63.2mm in March, 107.6mm in April, 57mm in May and 44.4 so far in June.

Carcoar Dam, which provides security for water users along the Belubula River, has increased in capacity from 13 per cent in January to 16.1 per cent this week and Lake Rowlands has increased to more than 46 per cent.

Above Wyangala Dam, Crookwell has received 464mm of rain so far this year, 90mm above the long term average of 373mm.

Downstream of the dam Cowra has received a massive 400mm, compared with the January to June average of just 282mm.

The increasing water levels also signal a possible relief in water restrictions for some water users.

Cowra has not been impacted by restrictions.

The general manager of Central Tablelands Water, Gavin Rhodes said, "with the level of Lake Rowlands continuing to slowly rise after recent rainfall in the catchment, water restrictions could potentially be eased much sooner rather than later".

"Lake Rowlands is currently sitting at 46.5% and with the catchment now saturated, each subsequent rain event in the area will continue to provide increased run-off into the dam.

"When and if Lake Rowlands reaches 50%, I will be recommending an easing of restrictions."

"Although the three month Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) rainfall outlook for the region is forecasting above median rainfall, it is critical that our focus continues to be on conserving water, with the aim of building on the Lake Rowlands storage level during Winter and Spring as much as possible prior to Summer."

CTW's chairman, Cr David Somervaille said, "the board and management have been extremely appreciative of our consumers continued adherence to the water restrictions put in place to manage the prolonged drought.

"And now that conditions are becoming more favourable, it is only fair and reasonable that we acknowledge the efforts of our consumers by relaxing the restrictions in a sustainable manner.

"I would like to thank our consumers for their continued understanding during this period of unprecedented drought and the importance of using water wisely," Cr Somervaille said.