In encouraging news for the state’s River Murray communities, South Australian irrigators have been advised the projected minimum opening allocation is 82 per cent for the 2021-22 water year. Actual opening allocations will be announced on 15 June.
Manager Water Delivery Chrissie Bloss said the projected opening allocations are looking much more positive than this time last year.
“Given this strong starting position and the forecast climate outlook, there is an excellent chance we will be starting the 2021-22 water year on 100 per cent,” she said.
“It’s important to point out however, with the projected minimum opening allocation being greater than 50 per cent, the carryover trigger for 2021-22 has not been met. This means that any water volumes rolled over from a previous year will no longer be available as outlined in the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse.”
Late last year, an independent review was commissioned into the state’s River Murray allocation announcement process.
“The South Australian Government is committed to ensuring the state’s irrigators receive the best available information about the projected minimum opening allocations and allocation outlooks,” Chrissie said.
“The independent reviewers consulted irrigator groups and found that the current allocation announcement process was working well. However, additional practical actions were identified to further improve the products the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) produces for water users.”
The report can be found on DEW’s website, along with an explanation of the steps being taken to address the recommendations.
Chrissie said as part of the state government’s commitment to providing early advice to help irrigators manage their water, the DEW has launched the SA River Murray Water Calculator.
“This Calculator has two main features – firstly there is a Personal Water Calculator to help you better understand how much water you could have under different circumstances to plan for the season ahead,” she said.
“Secondly, it includes a State Water Calculator to help irrigators better understand how the water available to South Australia is shared.
For more information about these projections, or to access the new Water Calculator visit the Department for Environment and Water’s website.