Summary of Lower Lakes Situation


November 2009 

by Ian Rowan

Since 2002 inflows to the River Murray have been about 4000GL per year or less than half the long term median inflows. Demand for water has remained the same and as a consequence there has been no outflow of water to the sea and water levels below Lock 1 and the Lower Lakes have declined to below sea level. 

This situation has produced serious impacts amongst the worst of which are: 

These and other impacts, including the human costs and desperation, are likely to worsen this summer and in the future as predictions are that river flows will decline as a result of global warming. This and the predicted rise in sea level will mean that the concept of maintaining a large, 800 km2, freshwater lake system will be untenable.