Opening allocations of 36 percent for SA River Murray irrigators

Date posted: 30 June 2016

Hon Ian Hunter MLC

Minister for Climate Change

South Australian River Murray irrigators will begin the 2016-17 water year with a 36 per cent opening allocation and access to private carryover.

Recent rainfall events have not been sufficient to provide for an increase above the already anticipated 36 per cent opening allocation.

When more regular rainfall events occur and this increases inflows into the storages, water users will be advised of any changes to their allocations through the weekly River Murray Flow report. (The flow report also contains details of the allocations for the different classes of water access entitlement holders).

Water for private carryover will be granted to eligible water users in 2016-17 to provide an alternative source of water due to allocations being less than 100 per cent.

River Murray water access entitlement holders must provide their final meter readings to the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) by 31 July 2016 to ensure carryover can be granted to eligible account holders as soon as practicable.

Background

Water allocations for all River Murray water users across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have been affected by low inflows in 2015-16 due to below average rainfall and the resulting dry catchments.

On 28 April 2016, the Minister for Water and the River Murray announced that minimum opening allocations for the majority of water users would be 36 per cent.

At the peak of the Millennium Drought SA River Murray water access entitlement holders received opening allocations of just 2 per cent.

SA River Murray irrigators have received 100 per cent of their allocations for the past five years.

Quotes attributable to Water and the River Murray Minister Ian Hunter

The Government has worked closely with irrigators to ensure the minimum opening allocations reflect the principles advocated by irrigators and other stakeholders during consultations on the development of a revised River Murray Water Allocation Plan.

Today I have been in the Riverland talking with irrigators about opening water allocations. Water resource availability will be closely monitored as the year progresses, and increases to water allocations will be made on the basis of actual improvements in resource availability.

DEWNR will provide monthly water allocation updates to allow water users to track improvements and make their own business decisions.