Problems below Lock One

As an indication of the severity of water levels along the River Murray, upstream of Blanchetown or Lock One, the water level is near 3.6 metres above sea level. On the down-river side of the same structure, the freshwater level is at a very low 0 .62 metres below sea level.  

This and the following locations are marked on our Crisis Map.

The low water level is causing ‘slumping’ of the dried out river banks where deeper water occurs. Huge sections of riverbank that have been supporting trees, buildings and other heavy objects are either toppling into the river or are on the brink of doing so.

Read the media release from 17 December 2009 Riverbank Collapse Update from the DWLBC.  And this article in the Advertiser Now.

Homes at risk
The low river level is causing real concern for home owners. This
 home is one of fifteen in a row to be affected by a slumping riverbank.  Authorities have issued notices to vacate due to a serious threat of property collapse into the river. This also means that they cannot continue to insure their properties.

Further downstream near Long Island Marina, large chunks of the river bank have toppled into the river only to destroy houseboat moorings and several cars that were parked nearby. Only one vehicle has since been retrieved. 

  
Slumping riverbank below Lock 1  -  and that willow used to be on solid riverbank
photos by Geraldine Cox

Dried out wetlands releasing acid into the water supply of Adelaide

For several years now these wetlands have been drying out. There is a risk that some wetlands will turn acidic, and there is a risk that the toxic brew that is produced could flow into the River Murray very near where Adelaide's water supply is sourced.

  
Below Lock One and above Tailem Bend 

Water salinity polluting the drinking water supply of Adelaide

Water salinities in the Lower Lakes have increased and the water cannot now be used for irrigation. Some irrigators can now access water from a new pipeline from Tailem Bend. This supply could also be under threat this summer from saline Lake water intrusion which even last summer went past Tailem Bend at times.