Lower River Murray levees intermediate remediation funding

The Federal and State Governments have announced $17.1 million in funding to progress intermediate remediation works for government-owned levees in the Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area (LMRIA) that were damaged in the 2022-23 River Murray flood event.

The intermediate remediation works will bolster the immediate stabilisation works, which began in March 2023 to enable dewatering of inundated agricultural areas and will support the protection of the region’s economically significant agricultural land and floodplain infrastructure in the event of future high flows.

In addition to the $17.1 million jointly-funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement funding, the South Australian Government has allocated $14.2 million in state funds for intermediate remediation works to privately-owned LMRIA levees.

Condition assessments of the levees will inform the development of a longer-term resilience strategy for government- and privately-owned levees within the LMRIA. This strategy will also be underpinned by consultation and engagement with the region’s relevant stakeholders.

The Department for Environment and Water will continue to work closely with the LMRIA landholders, irrigation trusts and community members in progressing the intermediate remediation works.

View Intermediate Remediation of LMRIA Levees Factsheet.

If you have queries, please contact the Department for Environment and Water through the following channels:

Lisa van der Linde, Communications and Engagement Officer on 0437 313 087 or Lisa.vanderlinde@sa.gov.au or the DEW Communications and Engagement team on DEW.WIOCommunications@sa.gov.au.

Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area levee banks

Field inspections of levees in the LMRIA continue with reinforcement of levee stabilisation works being undertaken, where required, to remain functional.

All government-owned levee banks along the Lower Murray from Mannum to Wellington continue to remain closed to public access until full condition assessments of the levees are undertaken and levees are deemed safe for public access. Recreational activities along the levee banks, such as walking, cycling and fishing are not allowed.

The government-owned levee banks are:

  • Cowirra
  • Neeta
  • Wall Flat
  • Pompoota
  • Mypolonga
  • Mobilong
  • Burdett
  • Long Flat
  • Monteith
  • Jervois

Privately-owned levees along the Lower Murray are managed and maintained by private landowners and access to their levee banks is at their discretion. However, access to private levee banks where the department is undertaking reinforcement of levee stabilisation works is not permitted.

If you have queries, please contact the Department for Environment and Water through the following channels:

Lisa van der Linde, Communications and Engagement Officer on 0437 313 087 or Lisa.vanderlinde@sa.gov.au or the DEW Communications and Engagement team on DEW.WIOCommunications@sa.gov.au.

River Murray Flow in South Australia

The flow at the South Australian border is approximately 9 GL/day and will remain at around 9 GL/day over the coming week depending on river operations.

The SA River Murray Flow Report is issued weekly and provides information on flows across the SA border, water levels, river infrastructure and impacts to the river. Click here to subscribe to this report.

Upstream flows

More information on upstream conditions and forecasts can be found in the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Weekly Flow Report.

River Murray Flood Mapping

The changes in the SA River Murray Chanel and floodplains since the 1956 flood and subsequent events have led to a shifting relationship between flow and water level, making accurate forecasting challenging. These changes include new infrastructure and development, shifts in floodplain vegetation and land use, movement of the river channel and changes in river bathymetry.

The effects of these changes were observed during the 2022-23 River Murray flood event. Following the event, the State Government committed funding for the purpose of updating DEW’s River Murray flood models, tools and datasets with current conditions, and the latest observations of water levels and flood behaviour during the 2022-23 flood.

DEW is currently working to ensure that the River Murray hydrodynamic models, tools and data sets are updated with best available data so that river managers, emergency services and the community can be provided with up-to-date information for assessing potential flood impacts to inform their preparations prior to future events. The bathymetric surveys outlined below are an example of the new data being captured that will be used to inform these updates.

For more information contact Casey Henderson, Senior Project Officer on casey.henderson@sa.gov.au.

Water quality

Algal blooms within SA

A Water Quality Alert for Lake Alexandrina issued by SA Health remains current due to elevated levels of potentially harmful blue green algae present in the lake. This alert and other information can be found on the SA Health website – Water Quality Alerts page.

Water samples taken at several locations in Lake Alexandrina have detected high levels of Cylindrospermopsis, a type of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) which is potentially harmful to humans and animals.

The Water Quality Alert for Lake Alexandrina advises the public to avoid ingestion or contact with water in the lake, including the avoidance of recreational activities. The Water Quality Alert advises that water sampled from Lake Albert indicates some algae are present, however this does not currently pose a health risk.

DEW and SA Water will continue to monitor the location and movement of the algae. Barrage operations are being modified to encourage the discharge of algae through the mouth and away from populated areas.

Some level of blue-green algae on a large open water body like the River Murray is normal for this time of year when weather conditions are favourable for growth. Blooms can be transient and their location and severity can be affected by a range of factors including wind direction, air and water temperatures and degree of water movement. SA Health encourages people to avoid contact with obvious green discoloured water as it may have health impacts.

SA Health and DEW will continue to monitor the situation and provide further advice and information to the public as conditions evolve.

Algal blooms upstream of SA

A number of current alerts for blue-green algae have been issued by upstream authorities for the River Murray upstream of the SA border and the Lower Darling River. Details of the current alert locations can be found on the WaterNSW website - Algae Alerts page.

River Vessel Waste Disposal Stations

The Lock 3 River Vessel Waste Disposal Station (RVWDS) has been out of commission since January 2020 due to a significant infrastructure failure. The nearest alternative waste facility is located at Waikerie. Normal boat waste (domestic or galley waste) can still be deposited at the Lock 3 facility.

Goolwa RVWDS Portaloo unit has been removed and is undergoing refurbishment. To prevent future issues and ensure correct operation, please refrain from flushing foreign objects as flushing these items can cause serious damage to the equipment, including blockages and pump failures.

The closest portaloo disposal facilities are available at no charge at Coorong Quays, Hindmarsh Island by contacting them on 8555 7300. The remainder of the station is operating as normal. Updates will be provided as further information becomes available.

Any issues with river vessel waste disposal stations can be reported on 1800 799 065.

If you have any questions, please contact the DEW Engagement Team on DEW.WIOCommunications@sa.gov.au.

Water levels

Current water levels are updated daily and can be found here: https://www.waterconnect.sa.gov.au/River-Murray/SitePages/Daily.aspx

View gate openings at the barrages on Water Data SA at https://water.data.sa.gov.au/Data/Dashboard/75

Total daily flow releases from the barrages can also be found on Water Data SA at https://water.data.sa.gov.au/Data/Dashboard/1

The latest flow information is available on the Flows and daily water levels webpage or view the weekly River Murray Flow Report.

If you have any questions, please contact the DEW Engagement Team on DEW.WIOCommunications@sa.gov.au

More information about levee banks

View responses to frequently asked questions about levee banks along the River Murray.

Visit the PIRSA LMRIA flood recovery web page.