12 August 2020

Dam good top-up for Canberra's catchments

| Michael Weaver
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Googong Dam on Tuesday, 11 August

Googong Dam has received more than 22,700 megalitres of water since last Friday. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra’s water catchments have risen above 70 per cent of total capacity for the first time in more than two years after receiving a 10.9 percentage point increase from last weekend’s drenching rain.

The territory’s four dams – Corin, Cotter, Bendora and Googong – have already received 66 mm of rain this month which is more than double the rainfall in July, and water continues to flow at a speed of more than 5 km/h.

Yesterday (11 August), Canberra’s dams were at 70.6 per cent of their capacity and rising. Further rain is forecast to fall from today until at least Monday of next week.

Of the four catchments, Googong Dam received the most, with levels rising by 4.3 metres since Friday of last week. Storage has risen by 19 per cent, the equivalent of more than 22,700 megalitres of water.

Bendora Dam recorded a 6.8 per cent increase since last Friday and is sitting at 85.3 per cent capacity.

The Cotter Dam saw a 5.6 per cent increase, while Corin Dam’s water level increased by 2,531 megalitres or 3.6 per cent.

The four dams have received more than 30,300 megalitres of water since last Friday.

The latest top-up is well short of the record inflows received in 2012 and in November 2016 when Canberra’s water capacity was at 100 per cent.

READ ALSO More rain coming as region soaks up weekend drenching

Less than a week ago on Thursday (6 August), the four dams were at 59.6 per cent capacity and had fallen as low as 45.81 per cent in February following a very dry winter and scorching summer.

While the increase in storage is a great relief, Icon Water managing director Ray Hezkial told Region Media that Canberrans should not be complacent with their water usage.

“These coming months are vital for our storages to replenish what we’ve lost, and we always want to make sure we are going into our spring and summer periods in as strong a position as we can. This time last year, our storage levels were at 55 per cent,” Mr Hezkial said.

Overflow from Scrivener Dam this week

Overflow from Scrivener Dam this week – Canberra’s water catchments have risen by more than 10 per cent since last week. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

He said that about 40 per cent of water consumption comes from Canberra’s bathrooms. Leaving the tap running while cleaning your teeth and showers longer than four minutes are among the main culprits for high water usage.

Canberrans can find a range of water-saving tips and information about the permanent water conservation measures on the Icon Water website.

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