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SA private carryover frequently asked questions

Will private carryover be available in 2021-22?

In accordance with the Water Allocation Plan for the South Australian River Murray Prescribed Watercourse, access to private carryover is only available to eligible users when the projected minimum opening irrigation allocation is 50 per cent or less. As the worst case projected minimum opening allocation for 2021-22 is 82 per cent private carryover will NOT be available in the 2021‑22 water year.  

South Australia’s River Murray private carryover policy was updated in April 2020 to allow carryover volumes to ‘rollover’ into a future dry year.  The policy states that water in a rollover account will only be available if the minimum opening allocation for following water year is 50 per cent or less. As the worst case projected minimum opening allocation for 2021-22 is 82 per cent, any water in a rollover account will no longer be available. 

What is private carryover? 

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

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 per cent 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 per cent of the value of your entitlements. 

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

How will I find out if private carryover applies? 

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

Keep an eye on the current allocations for up-to-date information. 

Do I need to apply for carryover? 

No. If carryover has been announced, 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 before 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. Instead, if the opening allocation for the next water year is 50 per cent or less, the volume will be ‘rolled over’ into that year. 

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

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

If water use exceeds the historical Cap (set at a level equal to 90 per cent of entitlements held in 1993-94) action may need to be taken sooner to address the risk of non-compliance with the Sustainable Diversion Limit (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. 

How does rollover work? 

If carryover is granted in a water year and allocations plus carryover reach 100 per cent, then the volume above 100 per cent will effectively spill into a rollover account. If carryover is again triggered in the following year (i.e. April announcement is 50 per cent 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. 

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

Can I trade my carryover volume? 

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

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 is 50 per cent 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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