Poor rainfall is forcing Hydro Tasmania to import more electricity from mainland Australia in a bid to protect the present low levels of water stored following the dry winter.

Hydro Tasmania said that while inflows to reservoirs were above average for August, the flowrate had reduced to less than average and was expected to be the trend for the coming weeks unless there are ‘significant’ spring rains shortly.

Reservoir storage in August was 27.1% of capacity, and this was 4.5 percentage points below the same month last year. The lower storage levels come despite heavy rains in early August that resulted in record flows, which required substantial spillage at dams but overall storage level in the month increased 7.5%.

The utility is only two months into its new financial year as it faces the weaker hydrological conditions, it added.