where will all the water go

10 January 2011 11:08:00 AEDT

Sadly, even if the heavy rains were to cease immediately, there is already a mighty reckoning travelling south towards the NSW border and beyond along the Condamine River. The 10 metres pulse that has devestated Chinchilla and Dalby is a far rarer event than the rains which have falled east of the Great Divide and the tropical rains of the far north.

Rain around Bundaberg east of the Great Divide will move straight out to sea - ensuring the worst water visibility around the Whitsunday Islands for the last 10 years. Imagine snorkelling through a mild green chicken curry - you get the picture.

The northern rains will eventually find their way into Lake Eyre which not so long ago was a 20 year event. 2011 however marks the third year in a row that Lake Eyre will be full.

The Condamine River and other similar Murray Darling tributaries do not handle flooding well, its to rare an event, thats why the flooding they are currently experiencing is record breaking. The further the rains move along towards the Murray and ultimately the Coorong down at South Australia before entering the southern ocean the more diluted the effects will be. This year though theres more water than even the greediest NSW cotton farmer could ever dream of.

The Queensland town of Saint George looks set to suffer major flooding in a few weeks depending on how well the dam at Beardmore can contain the water - no one really knows, it's never really been tested. Beyond that there are around another dozen towns and settlements set to receive the deluge in around a months time

...but what happens if the rain doesent stop?

A map of Australia showing major river systems

SOURCE: http://www.nativefish.asn.au/ozrivers.html#alphalist

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A354f83e87c49bc4ce6005a7baab4b7c Apone
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over 11 years ago
Dams would have prevented the damage to downstream places like Chinchilla though. The problem is convincing a government halfway through a record breaking drought to invest resources into a dam to stop 14 metres of rainfall - tough. you have to see it for yoursefl to believe it, so this could be the flood we had to have to cement that message.

904cc17b7b3bfb62aa14b4802a0a3aec Noobsauce
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over 11 years ago
Not sure dams are the 'silver bullet' you think they may be in this instance, a lot of the flooding in bundaberg for example would have occured regardless of dams or not.

09897488b58ef3c2e74b7c8c0360e144 Arthas
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over 11 years ago
Of course it will stop but welcome to La nina. Shouldnt we have been building the dams for the last 10 years of drought to be able to catch all this water now so that we have it available for the next drought?

A329549aed6ffaa683c604058948eba6 Cthulhu
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over 11 years ago
Actually thats a good point...what happens if the rain doesent stop???

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