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Water allocations and announcements

Water allocations 2019-20

Two water allocation drop-in sessions are being held in May. 

The minimum opening allocation for River Murray irrigators in the 2019-20 water year is projected to be 22 percent of the number of entitlements held.

Because minimum opening allocations in April were projected to be below 50 percent, private carryover will be made available to eligible licensees, allowing up to 20 percent of unused water from 2018-19 to be carried over for use in 2019-20.

This reflects the extremely dry conditions across the Murray-Darling Basin.

Despite the low projected minimum opening allocation, it has risen from 14 percent announced in April, reflecting recent rainfall and updated water availability conditions.

Significant improvements across the water year are likely. Most inflows to the River Murray system historically occur between July and November, so the main inflow season is yet to arrive.

Water availability projections indicate there is a 90 percent probability that allocations will increase to at least 82 percent during 2019-20 and just over a 70 percent likelihood that allocations will increase to 100 percent.

These projected allocations include an extra 50 gigalitres of water to holders of irrigation and equivalent licences – in recognition of Adelaide's access to other sources, such as desalination. Compared to the Millennium Drought, this boosts irrigation allocations by 8 percent and applies while irrigators remain on allocations of less than 100 percent.

Water allocations are determined based on South Australia’s water resource availability and the approach to water allocation detailed in the Water Allocation Plan for the River Murray Prescribed Watercourse.

South Australia's River Murray Water Allocation Statement

South Australia's River Murray Water Allocation Statement was released on 15 May, providing River Murray irrigators with information to help plan ahead for the 2019-20 water year.

It contains information on South Australia's Entitlement, projected minimum opening allocations, private carryover, water held in storage, climate outlook and projections of irrigation allocations under a range of scenarios.

The publication of River Murray water allocation statements is part of the South Australian Government's commitment to giving greater support to River Murray irrigators to help them in their forward planning.

Previous water allocation announcements

South Australia's River Murray water access entitlement holders received a 100 percent water allocation in 2018-19 and private carryover was not available.

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