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South Australian Private Carryover

What is private carryover?

Private carryover is made available for use in dry years and provides insurance to boost allocations by increasing the volume of water available to water users by up to 20 percent at the beginning of a water year.

It is made available when the projected minimum opening allocation of water for the year is 50 percent or less.

Private carryover provides additional flexibility to water users by allowing for some unused water allocation at the end of one water year to be granted for use in a following dry water year.

An individual’s allocation in a water year cannot exceed 100 percent (total of allocations against entitlement and carryover). This is to ensure that South Australia complies with its Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) in the Basin Plan and doesn’t use a higher volume than is allowed to be taken from the River Murray in a water year. Find out more about South Australia’s SDL here.

Private carryover in 2019-20

Allocations have now reached 100 percent in the 2019-20 water year. For holders of entitlement that received carryover in 2019-20, they could not be granted allocation improvements that would have taken their account over the 100 percent limit under the carryover rules.

Private carryover in 2020-21

Private carryover rules have recently been updated following community consultation – to allow excess volumes to be ‘rolled over’ if allocations plus carryover exceed 100 percent.

Any volume that would take water accounts over 100 percent will effectively spill into a rollover account. This change will apply from 1 July 2020.

For more information about the consultation on the changes – please visit the Natural Resources SAMDB website.

The minimum opening irrigation allocation for the 2020-21 water year was made on 15 April 2020. Because the minimum opening irrigation allocation was less than 50 percent, carryover has been announced as available.

How the new carryover rules work

The 2020 Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse sets out how private carryover is calculated and who is eligible.

Key points:

  • Private carryover will be announced when minimum opening irrigation allocation in April is 50 percent or less.
  • When carryover is granted you can carryover any unused water on your account, up to 20 percent of the volume of Class 3 (High Security) water access entitlements you hold.
  • You must provide your final water meter reading by 31 July to be eligible for carryover.
  • Private carryover allocations plus allocations against your entitlement cannot exceed 100 percent.

Under the policy, if conditions improve after carryover has been announced and allocations increase to 100 percent, your total allocation (against your entitlements plus carryover allocation) cannot exceed 100 percent. 

If allocations plus carryover increase to 100 percent during the water year, the volume of your allocation above 100 percent will spill into a ‘rollover’ account. Should the next water year open in April at 50 percent or less, then the rollover volume can be accessed as carryover.

It is important to note that once a minimum opening allocation announced in April is greater than 50 percent, carryover will no longer apply and any volumes rolled over from a previous year will no longer be available.

The volume of water that can be made available for private carryover is based on how much water is stored in upstream storages for carryover purposes, and how much water was traded into South Australia between 1 April and 30 June in the previous water use year (and remained unused on 30 June).

If there is insufficient water available to meet the total carryover demand, the volume of water granted to an individual will be reduced proportionally.

The provision of private carryover is possible through arrangements in the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, which allow the South Australian Government to store (defer) water in upstream storages. 

Further information about private carryover is included in this fact sheet . (Link to updated factsheet on NR website)

FAQs

Q) What is private carryover?

Private carryover is a form of insurance to provide additional water in dry years. If carryover is announced as being available, it will be endorsed on water accounts in the first quarter of the water year.

Q) When does private carryover apply?

Private carryover is made available when the projected opening minimum allocation, made in April prior to a water year, is 50 percent or less.

If you hold Class 3 (High Security) water access entitlements and meet the eligibility requirements, you can carry over unused water up to 20 percent of the value of your entitlements.

For example, if you hold 100,000 Class 3 (High Security) water access entitlements, you can carryover up to 20,000 kilolitres of unused entitlement.

Q) How will I find out if private carryover applies?

The projected minimum opening allocation announcement is made in April each year. If the announcements is 50 percent or less, carryover will apply.

Early information is provided each year by the Department for Environment and Water prior to the 15 April announcement. Keep an eye on the website for up to date information.

Q) Do I need to apply for carryover?

No. If carryover has been announced in April, you will be eligible for private carryover if:

  • You have Class 3 (High Security) water access entitlements, and
  • You have water left on your account on 30 June, and
  • You provide DEW with your final water meter ready by 31 July.

Carryover volumes are automatically endorsed on your water account prior to the end of the first quarter of the water year.

If allocations plus carryover exceed 100 per cent during the water year, the excess volume will become unavailable that year (because the total of allocations against entitlements plus carryover cannot exceed 100 percent). Instead, if the opening allocation for the next water year, as announced in April is 50 percent or less then the volume will be ‘rolled over’ into that year.

Once a water year opens in April with allocations at more than 50 percent, carryover no longer applies.

Q) Why can’t allocations in one year exceed 100%?

If allocations were above 100% this would mean that South Australia would be likely to exceed its Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) under the Basin Plan.

If water use exceeds the historical Cap – set at a level equal to 90 percent of entitlements held in 1993-94, then action may need to be taken sooner to address the risk of non-compliance with the SDL. This could then impact on the reliability of allocation against entitlement.

We have heard from the River Murray community that the preference is for allocations against entitlement to be prioritised over carryover allocations.

Q) How does rollover work?

If carryover is granted in a water year and allocations plus carryover reach 100 percent, then the volume above 100 percent will effectively spill into a rollover account. If carryover is again triggered in the following year (i.e. April announcement is 50 percent or less) then the rollover volume can be credited to your water account.

The total volume that a water user can carryover is 20 per cent of the value of their Class 3 (High Security) water access entitlements. The carryover allocation endorsed on your water account can be made up of rollover volumes and carryover.

Example – if you hold 100,000 Class 3 (High Security) entitlements, you can carryover up to 20,000 kL. If you have 10,000 kL in a rollover account (because the current water year reached 100 per cent), and if carryover is announced in April then you can carryover a further 10,000 kL, to bring the total volume to 20,000kL.

The total of 20,000 kL would then be endorsed on your water account as carryover in the first quarter of the following water year.

If allocations again increase to 100 per cent, there is a risk that the volumes will be lost, if the announcement in April ahead of the next water year is greater than 50 per cent.

Rollover only applies in consecutive dry years. Once a minimum opening allocation announced in April is greater than 50 percent, carryover will no longer apply and any volumes rolled over from a previous year will no longer be available.

Q) Can I trade my carryover volume?

Once carryover is endorsed as an allocation on your water account it can be traded.

It is important to note that if allocations increase to 100 percent during the water use year, your total allocation (against entitlement and carryover) cannot exceed 100 percent (i.e. allocations won’t total 120 percent).

For example, once allocations increase to between 81-100 percent, the volume that takes your allocation over 100 percent will spill into a rollover account.

Q) Can I trade my rollover volume?

No. A rollover volume gives an account holder future access to that volume as a carryover allocation, but only if the next year is also a dry year and the minimum opening allocation, as announced in April is  50 percent or less.

Once a rollover volume is converted to a carryover allocation on your water account, it can then be traded.

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