Extreme drought conditions affecting the Murrumbidgee River have been cited as the reason for the lack of water currently at Wagga Beach.
A WaterNSW spokesperson said the drought conditions were having effects not just in the Riverina but across the whole state.
“The Murrumbidgee River is quite low at present.
“Lack of rainfall over the past six months has resulted in low flows in the tributaries, which provide the base flow for the river at this time of year,” the spokesperson said.
Releases from both Burrinjuck and Blowering dams are about 500 megalitres each per day – this is the minimum on WaterNSW’s Water Sharing Plan.
“The lack of flow from tributaries combined with this low demand play a role in the conditions at Wagga Beach,” the WaterNSW spokesperson said.
Residents Skye Davis and Kylee Mellis, who were at the beach with their daughters on Thursday afternoon, said the lack of water did not concern them “too much”.
“The kids still love playing here now that there’s more sand,” Ms Mellis said.
The kids still love playing here now that there’s more sand.- Kylee Mellis, resident
Ms Davis also said it was still an option despite the lack of water.
“It’s still nice – they [children] still want to check out the beach,” she said.
The WaterNSW spokesperson said the beach’s water level should rise again next month.
“Releases from the dams should increase in August when customer demand – both from irrigators and environmental water–rights holders – picks up,” the spokesperson said.
Similarly, a spokesperson from Murrumbidgee Irrigation said the low volume of water being released due to lack of demand was not unusual during winter.
“Usually we close down during winter and do maintenance work. It’s not just in this region but along the whole river.
“Once it starts to warm up again, demand should increase,” the spokesperson said.
The July 16 Water Availability Report by WaterNSW states that Burrinjuck Dam is at about 40 per cent while Blowering Dam is about 69 per cent, which are similar to the previous four weeks.