New South Wales Water Minister Melinda Pavey has stated that four so-called "block banks" along the Lower Darling river, that were built just over a year ago to ensure emergency supplies of water remained for critical stock and domestic use when the system began drying up, will be removed in coming weeks to ensure powerful river flows can flush all the way down to the Murray.
"These banks performed remarkably well and ensured an additional citrus and grape harvest for local farmers could be achieved in 2019," Ms Pavey said.
As The Herald reported on Wednesday, good rains in NSW and Queensland in January and February, backed by an embargo on water extraction, created flows along the Barwon-Darling that are finally reaching Menindee Lakes at the rate of about 10 gigalitres a day.
The block banks were not designed to withstand the flow rates that are needed if the Lower Darling is to be safely flushed all the way down to Wentworth on the Murray, about 230 kilometres.
"It means there is sufficient water to restart the parched Lower Darling and keep it running to the Murray for more than 12 months," Ms Pavey added.