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What is carryover?

Carryover is water allocation that is unused at the end of one water use year that may be made available for use in the following water use year. In this way, carryover can provide flexibility in regards to the timing of the use of allocation between water years. In the South Australian River Murray, Private Carryover is a drought management tool. 

Private carryover in 2018-19

Due to the water resources availability across the Murray-Darling Basin, South Australia’s River Murray water access entitlement holders will receive a 100% water allocation in 2018-19.  As a result, Private Carryover water will not be made available in 2018-19.  Private Carryover is made available for use in dry years. 

Consultation on South Australia’s River Murray Private Carryover Policy

Consultation is underway to hear community views on changes to the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse, including changes to carryover.

Changes to the private carryover policy were developed in 2017-18 in consultation with the Board’s River Murray Advisory Committee, a community-based committee that assists the Board in water policy development.

The proposed changes are as follows:

  • The changes make carryover available in years when minimum opening allocations are less than 40 percent. This approach maintains the existing reliability of carryover and results in carryover being made available in the same years as it has been historically. However, it is easier to understand and incorporate into individual business planning processes than the risk of spill trigger in the 2017 Plan.
  • The Minister may access water that was traded into South Australia between 1 April and 30 June in the previous water use year and remained unused on 30 June for carryover. This gives access to more water in total for carryover in more dry years.
  • The method to account for net evaporative losses has been changed so that that individual carryover volumes are maximised. The loss of 5% from evaporation will be deducted at a bulk level, rather than at an individual level.
  • In years where carryover is announced, the total allocation granted to an individual, including private carryover, will be capped at 100 percent of the volume held on entitlement. This represents a change from the approach taken in 2016-17 to ensure that water held in storage is available when it is needed most (during dry years), and to manage the risk of exceeding SDLs in that year. The change provides consistency with arrangements during the Millennium Drought and will help meet our Basin Plan compliance obligations.

Further overview information about the proposed changes to the carryover policy is included in this fact sheet.

For more information, please visit the Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin website.

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