Water allocations for 2017-18 to open at 100 per cent

Date posted: 15 March 2017

Hon Ian Hunter MLC
Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

South Australia’s River Murray water access entitlement holders will receive a 100 per cent water allocation in 2017-18, thanks to last spring’s highest inflows in 23 years.

The 100 per cent opening allocation means South Australia is expected to receive its full State Entitlement Flow of 1,850 gigalitres.

The announcement gives irrigators and other water users the certainty they need to make important business decisions for the coming year.

The 100 per cent allocation compares to 2016-17 when our State’s opening allocation was just 36 per cent, progressing to 100 per cent by August last year.

Background

Thanks to the improved inflows to the Murray-Darling Basin major storages, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority provided advice to the South Australian Government that supports water access entitlement holders receiving 100 per cent water allocations in 2017-18.

Water allocations are used to share, conserve and manage the volume of River Murray water available to South Australia and other states.

Managing South Australia’s water responsibly contributes to achieving long-lasting benefits for the River Murray and water users, including our cities and towns, primary producers, industry, recreational users and the environment.

Private carryover will not be made available and granted in 2017-18, as it is more important to make this available in a future dry year when water allocations are restricted.

The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) is responsible for administering water trade in South Australia.

Quotes attributable to River Murray Minister Ian Hunter

I am pleased that the opening allocation is a full 100 per cent of our entitlement flow, as this will give our water users some certainty in making their decisions for 2017-18.

Last year South Australia’s River Murray experienced the highest flows in 23 years. But as widely known, the wettest months can quickly revert to drier times.

Water users should be aware that some climate models are forecasting potentially dry conditions in 2017, which could affect water availability in 2018-19.

The State Government is committed to providing water users with timely information on water allocations and private carryover to assist with water management for the year ahead.