Burrendong Dam is currently at 9% storage and falling

Parched: An early morning photo of Burrendong Dam north of Wellington shows just how drought-stricken the region is. Photo: Peter Allen.

Parched: An early morning photo of Burrendong Dam north of Wellington shows just how drought-stricken the region is. Photo: Peter Allen.

One of the region's largest inland dam systems is struggling to maintain water levels in the face of historically low water inflow. 

Burrendong Dam's current water situation was photographed by a an airline traveller in an early morning photo that shows just how low the dam's water levels have dropped following a brutal drought. 

Tony Webber of WaterNSW says the current lack of water inflow that has reduced Burrendong Dam to just 8.8% of it's storage capacity is the lowest he's ever seen.

READ ALSO: 

"This is by far and away the lowest inflows on record," Mr Webber said.

"Over two years you could typically expect 400 gigalitres which is about equal to two hundred thousand Olympic swimming pools. Over the last two years we've had about 40 gigalitres."

"March last year it was at 40% capacity. It was 90% twelve months prior to that in 2017."

Mr Webber says you can chalk the sharp reduction in water inflow up to the drought conditions that have inundated the state. 

"The issue is we've had as far as inflows go, is that this has been by far and away a drought of record."

"This drought has not been very long in duration, but it's been far more intense as far as rainfall, temperatures and near zero inflows," Mr Webber said.

If conditions persist as they have, water distribution to landholders will have to be cut back in order to continue providing towns with reliable water supply.

"If we don't receive significant inflows, we will have to cut back water that's available for landholders more several to prioritize town water supplies."

The situation isn't all bad, however, as WaterNSW expects conditions to become more favourable after the end of summer, and with the benefit of storm-water that has helped fill the dam in January. 

"We're probabloy going to see a fall-off demand once we're past February," Mr Webber said.

"Encouragingly we did get some inflows in January, Burrendong's catchment is very large, just from one large storm in the catchment we received about 26 gigalitres in January alone, which held out our storage level."