Warragamba Dam gets massive boost due to torrential rain

Sydney’s main water source Warragamba Dam jumped to 61.8 per cent capacity on Monday morning, and has risen almost 20 per cent in the past week.

It had been getting dangerously close to its lowest level of 33.4 per cent recorded in 2007 at the height of the millennium drought.

It’s now 0.4 per cent above the capacity it was for the same time last year, and is expected to go even higher, potentially filling up to 70 per cent by the end of the week.

Almost all of the other dams in the Greater Sydney region are expected to either fill completely or start spilling over.

The Warragamba Dam can store just over two million megalitres and is now holding about 1.25 million.

The next biggest dam in the Greater Sydney region is the Avon Dam west of Wollongong, now at more than 80 per cent of its 146,700 ML capacity after rising by 36.1 per cent over the past week.

The Tallowah Dam north west of Nowra was bone dry a week ago but has now been completely filled by 21,800 ML flowing into the dam in the space of a week.

Heavy rains brought flash flooding in some areas but is helping restore dam levels that were near historic lows. Picture: Monique HarmerSource:News Corp Australia

Level two water restrictions were brought in for Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra in December last year, when combined water levels were about 45 per cent.

A decision is still being sought from NSW Minister for Water Melinda Pavey on whether the restrictions will be lifted.

In Queensland, the almost 500,000ML dam at Wivenhoe and nearly 250,000 ML dam at nearby Somerset are now at 42.8 per cent and 65.8 per cent respectively.

Some smaller dams in south east Queensland are spilling over, including at Enoggera in Brisbane’s west.

SEQ Water said this morning dam levels were at 57.7 per cent for the whole network.

Currently only the Scenic Rim Regional Council, south west of Brisbane, has water restrictions in place.

Significant falls in bushfire affected areas have also helped extinguish blazes, including the Currowan fire which burned almost half a million hectares and destroyed 312 homes as it burned for 74 days.

On Monday the system that brought torrential rain to Sydney is moving south towards the ACT and south coast, but heavy rain is still predicted in the NSW capital as well as a chance of severe storms.

RELATED: NSW rain stops bushfires

Several roads around Sydney were closed due to flash flooding. Picture: Tim Pascoe

Several roads around Sydney were closed due to flash flooding. Picture: Tim PascoeSource:News Corp Australia

The highest falls recorded in NSW over the last 24 hours were south west of Sydney and in the Illawarra.

Robertson received the most rain with 390mm, followed by Oakdale (306mm), Ingleburn (245mm), Peakhurst (225mm), Holsworthy (224mm) and Nowra (200mm), according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The heavy rain in NSW on Sunday also hit Qld in the later stages of last week.

Over the last week the area around Noosa received 407mm of rain, Stradbroke Island had 402mm and Coolangatta received 374mm.

While the totals were lower, the rain also brought some relief to areas of NSW that have been suffering through intense and prolonged drought.

Areas south of Walgett recorded 102mm on Sunday.

Tamworth (56mm), Glen Innes (55mm) and Tenterfield (56mm) are among those to receive significant falls on Sunday.

Much of NSW and southern Qld have been in declared drought, which hasn’t been helped by Australia’s hottest and driest year on record in 2019.


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