More than 20 per cent of NSW out of or recovering from drought

More than 20 per cent of NSW out of or recovering from drought

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RAY OF HOPE: More than 20 per cent of NSW is out of drought or recovering from drought.

RAY OF HOPE: More than 20 per cent of NSW is out of drought or recovering from drought.

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It's a small ray of hope in these difficult times.

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LARGE sections of NSW are officially out of drought, or recovering for drought, providing a small ray of hope in these difficult times.

A total of 14 per cent of the state is no longer in drought, including a long section of land stretching through Bourke, Cobar, Carrathool and into parts of the Riverina around Leeton.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries released the data this week, following the above average rainfalls in many parts of the state.

A further 8.3 per cent is recovering from drought, mostly in the state's western, around the Central Darling region.

The majority of NSW remains drought affected (51.3 per cent), while 19.8 per cent is in drought and 6.7 per cent is in intense drought.

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Across the border in Queensland, the majority of the state remains in drought - 41 councils are fully-drought declared regions and four a partly-drought declared, representing a total of 67.4 per cent of the state.

About 70 per cent of South Australia is still impacted by drought, but to varying degrees ranging from severe to moderate.

Primary Industries and Regions SA said unlike the eastern states, South Australia hadn't had the same amount of rainfall.

However, the seasonal outlook by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) for a wetter than average April to June provided some hope for an improved season.

Agriculture Victoria was unable to break down how much of the state was drought affected.

"Victoria received good rainfall across much of the state during the first week of April which will be enough rain to constitute an autumn break for many farmers," a department spokesperson said.

"For most of Victoria, seasonal conditions as at early April are set up for a good growing season.

"Follow up rain is required before the cumulative pressures of drought will ease and farmers are able to consider any form of recovery."

The BOM's latest drought report found soil moisture had increased across much of eastern and southwest Australia, and remains above average for large areas.

"Importantly there were also increases in soil moisture in the major water-yielding catchments of the Hume and Dartmouth dams in Victoria and the Macquarie River catchment in NSW," the report stated.

"The increase in soil moisture along the Macquarie River brought some relief to areas around Bathurst, Orange, and Dubbo which have not seen major increases in soil moisture since the start of 2017.

"The wetter soils mean that any rain that does now fall is more likely to result in runoff into rivers and storages."

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