After a relatively dry autumn, winter rains spurred significant flows across the Mount Lofty Ranges catchments to deliver a healthy 73 billion litre top-up to South Australia’s reservoirs.
Natural inflows from the winter rainfall helped increase total reservoir storage levels by 30 per cent to 74 per cent heading into spring, compared to 62 per cent on the first day of the season in 2020.
SA Water’s Senior Manager of Media, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Joshua Zugajev said more than half of the total winter inflows to South Australia’s reservoirs came during July.
“Following a slow start to winter, it wasn’t until the middle of July that we saw catchment flows across the Mount Lofty Ranges take off and begin to create a positive impact to reservoir storage levels,” Joshua said.
“The largest individual day was the 24 hours to 8am on 25 July, when almost seven billion litres of water flowed directly into the state’s reservoirs.
“Although we just experienced the highest winter rainfall in five years, we actually had more water flow into reservoirs during 2017, as soils across the catchment remained saturated by an extremely wet 2016.
“Our reservoirs are now sitting at a comfortable position heading into spring with capacity to capture further anticipated rainfall, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a wetter-than-average season.”
In early August, the water release gates at the Myponga Reservoir were opened for the first time in four years after it reached around 98 per cent capacity.
Mr Zugajev said the state’s diverse water sources ensure a secure supply in a changing climate.
“A reliable source of water supports economic prosperity and public health, and the uncertainty of rainfall from one year to the next challenges the ability to ensure long-term water security.
“Climate-independent sources like the Adelaide Desalination Plant and recycled water that is fit for purpose, augment our existing water supplies while delivering environmental outcomes.
“While South Australians are already savvy water users, a range of tips for water efficient homes and gardens are available from our website, including information on heat tolerant native plants that can help maintain a cool and green yard with only a little bit of water.”
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