DARTMOUTH Dam will be only one major rain event from spilling when it almost reaches capacity on Monday.
Dam manager Peter Leipkalns yesterday said outflows would be reduced to 1500 megalitres a day this week in order to bring the storage close to 100 per cent.
The Dartmouth area missed out on yesterday’s widespread rain, which dumped more than 20 millimetres on Albury.
But the chances of it spilling in the next few weeks — for the first time since 1996 — remained high.
“We are expecting a little bit more rain this week, but not as much as the bureau first indicated,” Mr Leipkalns said yesterday.
“It is to the point where we are actually reducing outflows slightly by 1500 megalitres a day, with the aim of having the dam effectively full Monday.
“They were significantly higher during the recent very wet period.
“It will coincide with Lake Hume effectively being at full supply and we can meet our operational commitments for releasing water over summer.
“We won’t have much airspace at all and remembering, of course, the last time the dam spilt it was in October 1996.”
Dartmouth was sitting at 95.2 per cent capacity and Lake Hume at 97.6 per cent.
Other major rain from 9am yesterday was recorded at Osbornes Flat (20 millimetres), Wangaratta (21), Cheshunt (28), Bobinawarrah (24) and Greta South (26).
North of the border the falls were less significant, but RSM Bird Cameron agribusiness specialist Jason Croker said the amounts kept the good season “rolling”.
“It had been 2½ weeks since the last rain,” he said.
“In that time, we had some mild weather that was drying out conditions so this rain keeps the season ticking along nicely.
“The outlook is for average to above-average rainfall for spring.
“So if this keeps up, we can expect a bumper harvest in the local area.
“It must be remembered that in the north and west of the state, where they haven’t had the rain we have had through the growing season, this rain may not be of any benefit.”