Positive outlook for River Murray water allocations

South Australian River Murray water allocations will open at 40 percent for the 2020-21 water year and are likely to reach 100 percent before the start of next summer.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the continued improvement to the allocation figure is based on the recently improved rainfall and storage levels.

“In line with our election commitment, we have sought to provide irrigators with earlier and more useful information about the water year ahead,” said Minister Speirs.

“In the last few months, we’ve seen the projected minimum opening allocation increase from two to 40 percent and this is good news for irrigators and river communities.

“This recent improvement as well as future outlooks are positive signs for South Australian River Murray water users with a strong chance irrigators will receive their full water entitlement in time for summer and as we move into the next growing season.”

Projections released by the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) today indicate that even if an extreme dry scenario plays out over the next six months, then South Australian Class 3 (High Security) allocations are likely to reach 100 per cent by November.

DEW’s River Murray Water Delivery Manager Jarrod Eaton said that increased inflows across the Murray-Darling Basin in May have resulted in South Australia’s minimum River Murray Entitlement increasing to 1,105 gigalitres (GL), providing a more positive start for the 2020-21 water year.

“The Bureau of Meteorology’s three-month outlook indicates further rainfall is likely over the coming months,” said Mr Eaton.

“Most inflows to the River Murray system historically occur between July and November.

“Given the high likelihood of further allocation improvements, water users will also need to have regard to the 100 per cent limit on their combined allocations and carryover against entitlement, when considering any private carryover strategy for the 2020-21 water year.”

For more detail on projected improvements throughout the water year and private carryover, people are encouraged to refer to today’s River Murray Allocation Statement, which will be updated next on 1 July 2020.

The full Statement can be found at: www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/river-murray

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