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River Murray water allocations increase to 31 per cent

The minimum water allocations for South Australian River Murray irrigators in 2019-20 will increase to 31 per cent today thanks to recent water resource condition improvements.

The increased allocation is based on the latest advice from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Based on climate conditions over the last 30 years and current water resource conditions, there is a 90 per cent likelihood that water allocations will reach at least 91 per cent in 2019-20. 

Department for Environment and Water (DEW) Water Resource Operations Manager said he remains cautiously optimistic that allocations will continue to rise as the year progresses.

“We’ve seen a slow but consistent increase since March, and it’s anticipated we’ll see further increases as the winter in-flow season progresses,” Mr Eaton said.

After two consecutive years with low rainfall and inflows across the Murray-Darling Basin, the volume of water in Murray-Darling Basin Authority controlled storages is around 37 per cent of capacity and increasing.

“Rainfall across key catchment areas in the southern Murray-Darling Basin has been a positive sign over the past few months,” Mr Eaton said.

“Now that we’ve hit the winter in-flow season, where most of the inflows occur, we’re hoping to continue to see improvements to water allocations for the remainder of 2019.

“However, we’re not ignoring the Bureau of Meteorology’s long-term weather outlook, which continues to predict warmer and drier than average conditions across the Murray-Darling Basin over the next few months.

“We’ll be monitoring the situation closely and will provide revised statements on a fortnightly basis while we remain below 100 per cent water allocation.”

Private carryover will be available for eligible entitlement holders in 2019-20. This video explains how any unused water from 2018-19 can be carried over for use in 2019-20, up to 20 per cent of a user’s entitlement.

For more information about water allocations, members of the community can visit the Department for Environment and Water’s website.

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