Water allocations and announcements

Water Allocations

Water Allocations 2016-17

Recent improvements to South Australia's share of the Murray-Darling Basin water resource have enabled water allocations to increase from 36 per cent to 52 per cent for South Australian River Murray water access entitlement holders (Class 3a, 3b, 4, 7 and 8).

As rainfall events occur and inflows to storages increase, water users will be advised of improvements to their water allocations via the River Murray Flow Report.

To view previous water allocation announcements, visit the Historical Water Allocation page.

Private Carryover 2016-17

In addition to the opening water allocation of 36 per cent, eligible water users will be granted private carryover in 2016-17.

Eligible water users will receive a letter and updated water account with their carryover volume endorsed. It is expected that this advice will be received in October 2016.

Eligibility criteria (as per the carryover policy) includes:

  • underuse in 2015-16
  • final meter readings submitted to DEWNR by 31 July 2016.

If you don’t have a water meter you may still be eligible for carryover but you must contact DEWNR by 31 July 2016.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority confirmed that on 1 July 2016, South Australia had deferred and stored 78.7 GL (19 GL in Lake Victoria and 59.7 GL in Dartmouth Reservoir) for private carryover use. The volume stored is adjusted for net evaporation losses and spills until delivered to South Australia. There has been no opportunity to move water held in Lake Victoria to a more secure upstream storage since March 2016.

As a result of an unregulated flow event occurring in July and early August 2016, Lake Victoria is likely to fill and physically spill in August. South Australia’s deferred water will be the first to spill because the rules under the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement require that water held by South Australia in the Storage Right must not affect water availability to New South Wales and Victoria. This unregulated flow event is likely to cause a spill of up to 57.7 GL (38.7 GL of water held for critical human water needs and 19 GL held for private carryover). All other private carryover water (59.7 GL) is currently held in Dartmouth Reservoir, where the risk of spill is much lower. 

For more information visit the Private Carryover page.

River Murray Water Allocation Framework 2016-17

The objective of River Murray Water Allocation Framework is to optimise the allocation and use of water that becomes available to South Australia to support the long-term sustainability and viability of the South Australian community for the greatest net benefit of the whole community.

The Framework applies to South Australia’s 1850 gigalitres (GL) Entitlement Flow only and excludes unregulated flow, as this flow remains in the river for the environment.

Access the 2016-17 South Australian River Murray Water Allocation Framework.

The Adelaide Desalination Plant (ADP) Cost Benefit Study

The independent cost-benefit study, undertaken by Marsden Jacobs Associate, is now available online .

Water Resources Update

The Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources Update provides information on:

  • recent inflows to the Basin
  • volume of water in storage (Murray-Darling Basin Authority controlled)
  • Bureau of Meteorology’s 3 month weather outlook.

Access the latest Water Resources Update below:  

River Murray Flow Reports

For more information about River Murray operations and water resource conditions please refer to the weekly River Murray Flow Reports.

Historical Water Allocations

During the Millennium Drought, it was necessary to place restrictions on water allocations to share, conserve and manage the restricted volume of water available to South Australia. 

Water restrictions that have applied to South Australian Water Access Entitlement Holders in the past are summarised in a table showing the monthly water allocations since July 2002.

What is a water announcement?

A water announcement is information that is reasonably likely to have a material effect on the price or value of a Murray-Darling Basin water access right. Water announcements are defined in section 12.49 of the Basin Plan 2012 water trading rules and include:

  • allocation announcements
  • private carryover  announcements
  • any other public announcement from the Minister that may have a material effect on the price or value of a water access right.

The South Australian Minister publishes water announcements in the South Australian Government Gazette and in a media release that is uploaded on the DEWNR website. Plans are underway to provide water announcements via an SMS message to registered users by 2017-18. Updates on this initiative will be provided on this page.