As winter continues to provide consistent rainfall, one of the flow-on effects of above-average July precipitation is the filling of dams.
Airspace in Wyangala Dam has now been created and if rain continues to fall, we may all have no choice but to isolate. While no one is calling floods yet in Forbes, Wyangala sits over 95% with two floodgates open.
Forbes recorded approximately 85mm – twice its average and June was more than twice its normal falls with 117mm. The rainfall has caused flash flooding at Cottons Weir, road closures and redirections not to mention the impact on our roadways.
According to BOM, Forbes has been wet more than half the month with dipping temperatures (-2 only a nine days ago on July 28). Only three days later we had our hottest day with a top of 21 degrees.
Yet most attention remains on Wyangala Dam given that more rainfall in August could mean a very damp Spring.
Wyangala Dam is situated on the junction of the Lachlan and Abercrombie rivers about 48 kilometres upstream from Cowra in Central West NSW. The dam is about 320 kilometres west of Sydney and its storage capacity of 1,217,000 megalitres is more than twice the volume of Sydney Harbour.
The dam is named after Wyangala Station, one of the properties on which it was built. By the early 1900s it was clear that further development of the Lachlan Valley required a dam to regulate variable river flows. Following completion of NSW’s first dam for irrigation – Burrinjuck on the Murrumbidgee River – work started in 1928 on the state’s second major irrigation dam, Wyangala on the Lachlan River and was completed in 1935.
Today the dam provides water for a far larger area following the dam’s enlargement in 1971 and fourfold increase in storage capacity.