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State Water launches dam warning system

Thursday November 29, 2012 - 09:28 EDT

State Water says it has completed an alert system for residents downstream of major New South Wales dams.

The Corporation says an early warning network has been developed to automatically contact people who are registered.

Spokesman Tony Webber says apart from river residents, a message can be sent to emergency services, councils, and commercial operators.

"It's a system that we've been developing for probably the last 12 months and in that time people have been encouraged to register," he said.

"But it's taken some time to work out the peculiarities of each river valley we're targeting.

"And we're happy to say we've reached a stage that each valley's system is tailed specifically for its particular needs.

"People who are registered don't have to do so again, but we're really encouraging anybody who feels that they would like to register and be notified about any significant changes to dam operations to do so.

"They can register for more than one dam.

"But it's particularly useful in the Murrumbidgee Valley where have have large communities in close proximity to dams like Blowering and Burrinjuck dams."

Jugiong residents are being encouraged to sign up to State Water's new dam alert system.

There have been criticisms in the town about a lack of early warnings of rapid river rises.

Mr Webber says the system has been fined tuned over the last year and it is particularly targeting places like Tumut and Jugiong, which can be affected quickly by dam releases.

"Jugiong is certainly one of the communities we're targeting," he said.

"We've been speaking with the shire council there as recently as this week Jugiong's a great example of where this is going to be particularly useful to keep them abreast of dam operations.

"It's about large environmental flows that may be planned, releases that might be happening for flood mitigation, for people close to the dam it lets them get some notice to move pumps or make arrangements with other equipment.

"It's been an ongoing challenge over a long period to try and communicate with those people that are downstream and we're hoping that this system will go a long way to solving that problem."

People can register online with State Water, or on a toll free number 1300 662 077 to receive an automatic message.


- ABC

© ABC 2012

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