Communities along the Murray and Murrumbidgee face more rain and more flooding, and there have been accusations, particularly from Leeton farmer David J. Linsday, that the situation is being exacerbated by bureaucratic incompetence, in particular, by Snowy Hydro releasing water into already flooded rivers, water that could be filling Lake Eucumbene.
I phoned Snowy Hydro this morning and put the various accusations that have been filling my email inbox to them.
Paul Johnson assured me that there is nothing Snowy Hydro could do to reduce the flooding because most of the rain is falling below Lake Eucumbene and Snowy Hydro does not have the capacity to pump from the lower reservoirs, for example from the Blowering or Burrunjuck dams, into Lake Eucumbene.
Mr Johnson confirmed that Lake Eucumbene is only at about 20 percent capacity; and that the Lake is enormous with a capacity nine times Sydney Harbor.
Mr Johnson also said that water in the higher reservoirs, for example Lake Tantangara, that could be diverted to Lake Eucumbene was being diverted to the lake rather than to the lower reservoirs.
The forecast is for more rain and already 35 council areas in NSW have been declared natural disaster zones. Crop losses are significant and global wheat prices continue to climb.
I got it wrong. To find out what happened after I posted this short note, read http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/12/bureaucratic-flood-damage