When it rains it pours – great news for our irrigators

Date posted: 12 August 2016

Hon Ian Hunter MLC

Minister for Water and the River Murray

A remarkable transformation of climatic conditions from very dry to wet means more good news for South Australian River Murray water access entitlement holders, after allocations were today raised from 89 to 100 per cent.

April River Murray inflows were near the lowest on record, but were followed by July 2016 bringing the highest inflows for 20 years.

This turnaround has provided very welcome inflows into the Murray-Darling Basin Authority controlled storages.

Background

Opening allocations for River Murray water users in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia were affected by low inflows in 2015-16 after below average rainfall and resulting dry catchments.

On 30 June 2016, Minister Hunter announced that opening allocations for the majority of water users would be 36 per cent, and that there would be access to private carryover.

Thanks to wetter conditions, during July Minister Hunter announced improvements to water allocations from 56 per cent to 89 per cent, and now to 100 per cent.

Further information is available here.

Quotes attributable to Water and the River Murray Minister Ian Hunter

The State Government has been keeping a close eye on SA’s water availability and has delivered on its commitment to provide early information and updates for the community.

Today’s 100 per cent allocation is great news given the situation back in April, when water resource availability was severely constrained.

The volume of water held in Hume and Dartmouth Reservoirs has massively increased by over 2,200,000,000 litres since mid-May.

The current positive outlook is being closely monitored in order to seize favourable conditions to improve the condition of the River Murray and its environments.

Increased water has helped to move salt from the Lower Lakes, scour the Murray Mouth and improve water quality in the Coorong.