The projected minimum, or worst case, opening irrigation allocation for the 2019-20 water year has risen to 22 per cent.
DEW River Murray Water Operations Manager Jarrod Eaton said that the change to the minimum opening allocation is based on advice from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and reflects recent rainfall and updated water availability conditions.
“There has been some recent rainfall and improved inflows in the upper River Murray storages, which is a positive turnaround compared to the dry and warm conditions observed in recent months,” Mr Eaton said.
“Despite the minimum 22 per cent opening allocation, significant improvements across 2019-20 remain likely.
“Most inflows to the River Murray system historically occur between July and November, so the main rainfall and inflow season is yet to arrive.
“The Bureau of Meteorology’s outlook across the Murray-Darling Basin shows there is no strong indication either way towards a wetter or drier than average three months ahead.
“We will continue to provide regular water allocation updates and reflect any improved water availability.
“Additionally, the water availability projections have also been updated to reflect today’s announcement.”
Two drop-in sessions will be held in Loxton and Murray Bridge next week to provide information and advice to irrigators to help prepare for the 2019-20 water use year. They will involve DEW staff and will cover the current water resources outlook, the private carryover policy, water allocation projections and water licensing matters.
Other service providers, including water brokers and counsellors, are being invited to provide further support and answer questions from irrigators and other community members.