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  • Rikki Lambert

River high, lower flows - SA Murray MP's flood warning

A South Australian MP in the upper River Murray says the feedback he is getting shows 1970s flood levels were close to being reached despite the anticipated peak flows not yet arriving.

Inflow projections were that 190 to 220 gigalitres per day could flow into the SA River Murray by the end of the year, following a first peak around 14 December. South Australian environment department inundation mapping for major Riverland towns show some low-lying infrastructure could be underwater at 200 gigalitres, and more if 250 gigalitres are reached.

Tim Whetstone, the member for Chaffey told Flow:

"We do need better information flow. There's no doubt about that. There is a high level of concern that we have been using historical data for a long period of time. If we reflect on the 1974 floods, we had 180 gigalitres of water coming across the border (every day) and it came at a certain river height. What we're seeing now is we're almost at that '74 height but we are nowhere near the 180 gigalitres a day.
"With constraints like roads, causeways, bridges, pumps, they are holding some water back and that is increasing the height artificially and that is giving all the statisticians and government agencies that monitor the river something to really think about at the moment.
"We might get higher rivers with lesser flow which could impact on levee banks, river pumps and could impact a lot of communities that are relying on information on that historical data."

Hear the full interview on the Flow podcast player below:


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