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Australia Nepean Dam breaks its banks as rainfall fills crucial water catchments

05:36  13 february  2020
05:36  13 february  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Wet and wild weather forecast around Australia

  Wet and wild weather forecast around Australia A week of heavy rain and possible flash floods is forecast for drought-stricken parts of NSW and Queensland. The rain is expected to increase water levels in a number of rivers and catchments around the two states.On the opposite side of the country, a tropical cyclone is developing and is expected to hit the WA coast this afternoon. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.

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"All Sydney storage levels have fallen as water is used to provide for Sydney’s water supply, while record low rainfall in catchment areas [has resulted] in minimal replenishing inflows," a WaterNSW spokesman said. "The absence of significant rainfall forecast and the extremely dry catchments

a close up of a mountain: The Nepean Dam, along with the Warragamba Dam, have seen drastically-raised water levels in the wet weather. ()© Provided by ABC NEWS The Nepean Dam, along with the Warragamba Dam, have seen drastically-raised water levels in the wet weather. ()

After months of drought, the Nepean Dam has spilled over after more than 700 millimetres of rain drenched parts of the region across the past week.

The heritage-listed dam, south-west of Sydney, is at 100 per cent capacity and gushing into the Nepean River, WaterNSW said.

Last week Sydney's metropolitan dam systems were at 33 per cent capacity, but after 244 mm of rain fell into the Warragamba catchment, the system is now at 75 per cent capacity.

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Despite the heavy rainfall across NSW, Sydney Water said level 2 water restrictions remain in place for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.

"While we welcome the rain, it's way too soon to see if there's going to be a start of drought recovery or a welcome temporary relief from the drought conditions," said Sydney Water's Peter Hadfield.

The downpour has been bolstered by multiple rain gauges around the Nepean system recording heavy falls as well as Cyclone Uesi looming off the eastern states of the country.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) duty forecaster David Wilke said many areas of NSW had recorded high levels of rainfall.

"Inland of Wollongong saw more than 700 mm of rainfall, while Katoomba has had a high of 545mm, and quite a number of surrounding areas have experienced between 250-500 mm, including Oberon, Mt Boyce and High Range," Mr Wilke said.

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"To provide some perspective Adelaide receives around 550 mm a year worth of rainfall."

Sydney Water has assured customers the water quality will not be affected by the overflow as preventative measures were installed to prevent contamination in early January.

WaterNSW installed curtains and booms in Warragamba Dam in January addressing fears bushfire silt and ash would compromise Sydney's primary water source.

"WaterNSW and Sydney Water have been taking a number of steps to ensure that any inflows of rubbish or ash or whatever doesn't have an impact," Mr Hadfield said.

"The water quality will certainly meet the Australian drinking water guidelines," he said.

The past week has brought tops of 400 millimetres of rainfall in parts of Greater Sydney, according to BOM.

The torrential rain soaking much of the state has significantly dampened over 100 bushfires, with only 24 bushfires still alight.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said over 30 bushfires have been extinguished in the last week.

Queensland's first cyclone of the season predicted to form in the Gulf .
The Bureau of Meteorology expects Queensland's first cyclone will form in the Gulf of Carpentaria near the Northern Territory-Queensland border later today.The BOM said it was monitoring a tropical low in the northern Gulf of Carpentaria that was expected to develop into a tropical cyclone.

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