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Topics > River Murray > Water allocation > Current allocations

Review of allocation announcement process

Background

In late 2018 the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) worked with the South Australian irrigation community to identify what water allocation information they need and when they need it. Based on this feedback, DEW updated its approach to allocation statements for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 water years.

While the updated approach has been generally well-received by the irrigation community, there was also interest in exploring further refinements to the approach.

Independent Review

DEW commissioned Aither to undertake the independent review. Aither is one of Australia’s leading advisors in water policy, water markets, infrastructure, and natural hazards.

Aither found recent changes to the South Australian River Murray allocation announcement process enabled DEW to provide better and more timely allocation information during two very dry years when a robust process was needed more than ever.

The current allocation announcement process was seen as working well and providing valuable information to market participants at suitable time intervals. However, there are additional practical actions that DEW can take over the short and medium term to further improve the products it produces for water users.

View the Aither report.

Implementing Recommendations

DEW has commenced actioning a suite of recommendations ahead of the 2021-22 water year. It is anticipated that all of the must do recommendations, and the majority of the short-term recommendations, will be implemented in time for the first allocation announcement on 15 April 2021. The remainder of the recommendations will be addressed or investigated over the coming 12‑18 months.

NumberRecommendationPriorityProgress
1Consistently provide a spectrum of opening allocation outlooks every year and in all pre-season announcements.Must doActioned - included in the 2021-22 allocation statements
2Amend graphical presentation of scenarios.Must doActioned - included in the 2021-22 allocation statements
3Clarify the allocation announcement process and improve explanation of the relevance of the water allocation plan.Short-termActioned - included in the 2021-22 allocation statements
4Improve visualisations of water available.Short-termActioned - included in the 2021-22 allocation statements
5Retain allocation announcement statements in a central, online repository.Short-termActioned - DEW website updated
6Develop a standard template for allocation statemenShort-termActioned - included in the 2021-22 allocation statements
7Release Version 1 of the State Water Calculator as soon as possible.Short-termActioned - see link to calculator on DEW website
8Finalise and release Version 1 of the Personal Water Calculator by April 2021.Short-termActioned - see link to calculator on DEW website
9Review the approach used to develop and select allocation outlook scenariosShort-termActioned
10Work with the MDBA and basin states to make the water availability assessments publicly available.Medium-termTo be investigated over the next 12-18 months
11Review outlook scenario definitions and nomenclature.Medium-termUnderway / partially completed
12Engage an independent communication specialist.Medium-termTo be investigated over the next 12-18 months
13Provide synthesised discussion of the scenarios and supporting data / information included in allocation statements.Medium-termTo be investigated over the next 12-18 months
14Work with industry to deliver an annual program of water literacy workshops.Medium-termUnderway / ongoing
15Integrate climate projections into water availability assessments.Medium-termTo be investigated over the next 12-18 months
16Work with MDBA and basin states to develop tri-state water calculator.Medium-termTo be investigated over the next 12-18 months