River Murray communities downstream of the Goulburn River junction are advised that flows and river heights are expected to drop noticeably into early April 2017.
MDBA head of River Operations David Dreverman said people around Echuca, including those who were visiting from outside the area, would be well advised to adjust their plans to account for changes in the river.
“An environmental pulse has been passing through the Murray system, resulting in higher flows,” Mr Dreverman said.
“As the pulse moves downstream, we expect river levels at Echuca to fall by half a metre.
“We recommend river users adjust their activities, pumps and moorings accordingly and remind boat owners that they are responsible for the safety of their vessel.”
Mr Dreverman said diversions of water through National Channel to meet irrigator demand might result in a further drop in river levels downstream of Torrumbarry weir.
“If conditions remain dry and there’s demand for water, we expect flows downstream of Torrumbarry to reduce from the current 6,000 megalitres per day to around 3,000 to 4,000 megalitres per day in late March 2017.
“If conditions were wet, the river levels would not drop as much because less water would be diverted to meet irrigation demand.
“At Swan Hill, the river height could fall to around 0.8 metres (local gauge height).
“Flow rates through autumn will continue to depend on the weather and orders from water entitlement holders.
“River conditions can change quickly and people should not expect river levels to be the same as the last time they visited the river.
“This is particularly important for people planning to use the river around Easter 2017.”