An updated forecast released today by the State Government shows that River Murray flows of up to 135 gigalitres per day is now expected by early December, up from last week’s forecast of 120 GL per day.
Continued rainfall throughout parts of the Murray-Darling Basin over the past week has prompted the upward revision.
The news comes as the South Australian Government commits $3 million to prepare Riverland communities for the increasing flows.
The Government will distribute the funds directly to affected Riverland councils to stabilise the levee systems surrounding a number of towns and communities.
Councils and government technical officers have been assessing the integrity of levee systems across the region over the past week.
The Renmark Paringa Council has engaged professional engineering expertise to ensure that the work undertaken is designed and constructed to the appropriate specifications.
Importantly, the Council has commenced work on-ground already.
Relevant state government ministers and their agencies will meet with local government officials from the Riverland in Adelaide this afternoon as part of efforts to help prepare affected communities for the higher water levels.
The local government officials will also be briefed on the blackwater event that is starting to affect the river upstream. Blackwater is a natural phenomenon that can occur after heavy rainfall when organic material is washed into waterways, resulting in low dissolved oxygen levels which can have a devastating affect on fish and other animals.
The Government has activated the State Emergency Centre to respond to the forecast flooding.
Low-lying parts of Riverland towns may be at risk of inundation if River Murray levels continue to rise beyond the current forecasts.
New inundation maps and a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions have been created as part of dedicated webpage on the highest River Murray flows in almost 50 years.
Flood awareness, infrastructure and projected flow maps allow residents to look at potential inundation and check if their property is likely to be affected.
A dedicated River Murray hotline (1800 362 361) is available from 8.30am to 5pm if you have any questions about the River Murray high flows.