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Water allocation concerns under new Murray Darling Basin arrangements

Irrigators have expressed concern over how allocations will be calculated and announced during the 2008/2009 irrigation season under management arrangements recently announced for the Murray Darling Basin.

National Water Broker Waterfind has reported an increasing level of concern from their clients about the likely outlook of announced allocations for the 2008/2009 irrigation season.

“Irrigators have expressed to us concern about the transparency of the accounting methods used to determine water allocations and suggested that public allocation announcements should occur on set dates each month. Announcements would be made on the set date even if there was no change to the allocation” said Mr Tom Rooney, CEO of Waterfind.

This call for clarity from the irrigation community comes off the back of an irrigation season that has shown some of the largest pricing fluctuations ever experienced in the market.

Growers planning for the 2008/2009 irrigation season have asked that governments from across the southern Murray-Darling Basin provide them with a clear understanding prior to the start of the next irrigation season of the approach to be adopted in making allocation announcements under different climatic and water storage scenarios.

“A clear and transparent procedure illustrating the inflow, storage and allocation relationship would enable irrigators to more effectively plan their water use and water purchases for the next irrigation season and have a stablising effect on the water market,” Mr Rooney said.

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