River flows were the highest since 2011.
National river inflows were well above average at 138 mm or 1,051,000 GL; 19% more than the previous year and 52% above the 2000–2021 average.
River inflows were near- or above average everywhere except the Top End. River flows were the highest since before 2000 in many catchments in inland NSW, along the NSW and southeast Queensland coast and in South Australia.
On the other hand, river flows in the Rosie and Goyder Rivers along the NT coast experienced their lowest river flows since before 2000.
Multiple severe flooding events occurred in 2022. There was widespread flooding in the NSW and Victorian parts of the Murray-Darling Basin and eastern Tasmania.
Extreme multi-day rainfall in February and March resulted in record flooding across southeast Australia. Century-old rainfall and river height records were broken in some cases, such as the Mary River in Gympie, Queensland.
River flows by catchment
A tropical cyclone brought heavy rainfall and flooding in the Fitzroy River in the Kimberley region of WA in the last days of 2022.
Storage in the various water reservoirs in the Murray-Darling increased from 90% to 96% of capacity in 2022. Reservoir storage in the Ord system in the Kimberley region also increased from 58% to 73% of capacity.
Urban water supplies for all eastern capitals remained full or increased further. The Sydney
and Canberra supply systems remained close to capacity, Melbourne storages increased from 90% to 97% of capacity, and water supplies for Brisbane and Adelaide increased by around 20% to 82%
and 84%, respectively, respectively. Perth’s surface water supply remained at 57% of capacity.
The national extent of wetland flooding was the greatest since 2011 and 54% above the 2000–2021 average. Maximum flood extent was the greatest since before 2000 in many catchments across the eastern states, southwestern WA and Northern Australia. Water extent was below average only in inland southern WA. Extensive flooding contributed to increased organic matter concentration, low oxygen conditions and blackwater events across the Murray-Darling river system. Reports emerged in late 2022 of mass native fish losses along the middle and lower Murray River.