As a result of dismal rains and soaring temperatures in record breaking summers, major Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and Brisbane are witnessing dam level drops below 50% capacity.
In Sydney, inflows are at their lowest since 1940. Greater Sydney’s 11 dams were at a combined 55% capacity on Sunday, compared to 73% at the same time last year.
In the Northern Territory, the Darwin river dam received its lowest-ever rainfall in March, as the territory recorded its driest wet season in 27 years. On Sunday, Darwin’s dam was at 76% capacity, compared with 98% last year.
In Melbourne, dam levels were at 51% on Monday and in April this year, Melbourne Water warned that storage “hasn’t been this low since April 2011”.
In Queensland, the south-east was also reaching a 10-year low. Neil Brennan, the chief executive of Seqwater, said in April that water levels were at their lowest since February 2010. Brisbane’s dams were at 70% capacity on Sunday, down from 82% last year.