Sydney Times

ACTIVE LEISURE Boating Fishing/Angling Swimming and Surfing


Written by Aksel Ritenis


NSW lakes, rivers and dams have received record amounts of water this year and NSW Minister for Water Kevin Anderson is warning holidaymakers to please show caution when swimming and boating on our waterways.

“The holiday period is traditionally a time for people to get out and about and enjoy NSW waterways, but it is important that they are able to do so safely,” Mr Anderson said.

“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.”

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said people should take extra care around waterways this holiday season.

“After the flooding we’ve experienced this year there could be more hazards in and around our waterways, so please listen to advice from the agencies and our volunteers to make sure you and your loved ones have a fun but safe day,” Ms Cooke said.

Large supply dams and downstream waterways have experienced record torrents of floodwaters across an extraordinary 6-12 months which saw almost all of regional NSW experience some degree of inundation.

As a result our 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

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

“People should take the time to check the WaterNSW website to confirm that their preferred site has re-opened to the public, the status of any blue-green algae in the area and any other warnings in place.”

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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