The Murray–Darling Basin Authority told a community forum in Eskdale to expect high river flows in the Mitta Valley throughout August as it transfers water from Dartmouth Dam to Lake Hume.
MDBA’s Andrew Reynolds said the bulk transfers would help secure water supplies for the Murray should dry conditions continue.
“About 70 gigalitres will be released from the Dartmouth Dam during August … the Mitta Mitta River will be running a little higher,” Mr Reynolds said.
“The flows will be carefully managed rising to about 4500 megalitres a day which means river levels will rise by about half a metre in some areas.
“We will be managing the water from this weekend to mimic natural river-flow variations, which will provide some level of environmental benefit to the area.
“The bulk flows follow a relatively small flow of 140 gigalitres into the Mitta Mitta River from the Dartmouth Reservoir in the 2017-18 water year."
Mr Reynolds said that at the end of July, Dartmouth Dam was at 89 per cent of its total capacity of about 4000 gigalitres.
“The bulk water transfers will make sure the reservoir has extra capacity to take inflows in the event the spring is ‘wet' or ‘near average',” he said.
“Transferring this water now will also lessen the potential need for bigger transfers later in the season, and ensure there is more water available at Hume should dry conditions continue.”
The Hume Reservoir is about 46 per cent capacity.
Dartmouth Dam provides significant flood mitigation along the Mitta Valley by capturing and storing floodwaters.
Some floodwater can be stored even when the dam is full, with the water then passed downstream at a slower and more manageable rate.
The community meeting at the Eskdale Hotel was a joint event with Goulburn-Murray Water and the Victorian State Emergency Service.