Tallowa to top up Sydney water supply

THE Shoalhaven Scheme, which includes Tallowa Dam, was built in the mid 1970s and is integral to Sydney’s water supply. It also provides water for local Shoalhaven and Southern Highland communities.

Tallowa Dam played a crucial role in the last drought, providing nearly 30 per cent of greater Sydney’s water supply. A three year moratorium on water transfers from Tallowa to Sydney ended in November 2011.

Under new rules outlined in The Greater Metropolitan Water Sharing Scheme, water transfers may begin from Tallowa Dam when Sydney’s dam storage levels fall to around 75 percent and continue until storages rise above 80 percent. The Sydney Catchment Authority can also only access the top metre of water in the dam when it is at full storage level.

Previously, the SCA could draw on the top three metres of water. This water is now only available for drought emergencies.

Environmental flows introduced in July 2009 had increased the amount of water released from Tallowa Dam downstream to Nowra from 90 million litres of water a day to peaks of more than 370 million litres a day.

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