Safety warning for inland waterways after record flooding throughout 2022

With the warm weather continuing for New Years weekend, we’re all being warned to be safe and stay vigilant not just at our beaches, but in our inland waterways.

NSW lakes, rivers and dams have received record amounts of water this year.

NSW Minister for Water Kevin Anderson said this time of years is traditionally a time for people to get out and about and enjoy our waterways, but its crucial to do so safely.

“The NSW Government wants people to be able to enjoy our waterways, whether it be for fishing or water sports, but we need to be mindful of changes to conditions and other safety risks. It is important that people check local conditions, safety warnings that may be posted, and the WaterNSW website.

“Many dams are likely to be experiencing widespread flood debris and changes to water depth,” Kevin Anderson said.

“Along the riverbanks and foreshores there will be the risk of bank collapse and with it, the risk of trees falling as a result of being undermined by weeks of fast-flowing floodwaters.

“Another potential hazard is the prevalence of blue-green algae, the growth of which is spurred on by the nutrients carried into our dam storages by the floodwaters.”

Popular dams and waterways used as recreational areas may feature unknown hazards such as:

  • Changes in dam storage height, concealing underwater snags and creating unfamiliar conditions
  • Increased risk for blue-green algae due to nutrients carried into storages by floodwaters
  • Flood debris collected in dam storages, floating on the surface and submerged
  • Riverbanks eroding and collapsing,
  • Unstable shoreline trees prone to collapsing
  • Changes in depth due to creation or disappearance of sand bars due to flood activity
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