South Australian irrigators will get a second increase on River Murray water allocations, with entitlements for most irrigators rising from 52 to 89 per cent due to recent rainfall.
This increase in allocations follows a June 2016 announcement from SA Water and the River Murray Minister Ian Hunter that opening allocations for the majority of water users would be 36 per cent and that there would be access to private carryover.
The opening water allocations for all River Murray water users across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia was affected by low inflows in 2015-16 due to below average rainfall.
The allocations were later increased to 52 per cent in July 2016 after rainfall across the Upper River Murray catchment areas and north eastern Victoria improved.
River Murray water availability is now increasing as a result of wet catchments and sustained above average rainfall, and inflows into a number of the key operational storages.
Recently, some of South Australia’s water stored under its Storage Right started to spill from Lake Victoria. This spill has been re-regulated and allocated to Metropolitan Adelaide and associated country areas, freeing-up the equivalent amount of water to be re-allocated to irrigation and other uses.
The recent improvements in inflows and rainfall as well as the reallocation of Metropolitan Adelaide’s diversion requirement has allowed the allocations to increase to 89 per cent for water access entitlement holders.
Mr Hunter said, “This is great news that water allocations have been able to increase more quickly than previously forecast.
“It’s an excellent result for irrigators, with the recent good rains now providing greater water access to support their crops for national and international markets.
“The state government is very pleased with the positive allocation outlook thanks to wetter conditions.”