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Slow start to 2008-09 water trading

Waterfind’s July report for the Southern Murray-Darling Basin found that the majority of trades for the start of the 2008–09 season were priced at between $550 and $600/ML, representing a slight increase since June. However, this was a decrease when compared to the 2007–08 July water price of approximately $800/ML.

In line with the zero to minimal allocations across the Southern MDB during July, water market activity was relatively quiet. The volume of water transferred was just short of 4500ML, well below the 67,000ML traded in June 2008 but consistent with July trading in previous seasons.

South Australian and Lower Darling irrigators received the only allocations in the Southern MDB during July. On 1 August, the NSW Department of Water and Energy announced an Available Water Determination of 25% for high security users in the Murray Valley and 30% for the Murrumbidgee Valley. On 15 August, Murrumbidgee high security increased to 40% and SA to 6%, while Victorian irrigators across all systems remain on 0%.

Rainfall in the Southern MDB was average during the month of July, with the exception of areas in and around the Lower Darling River which experienced below average rainfall. Griffith and Finley in southern NSW received falls of 29mm and 36mm respectively. In Victoria, Kerang and Echuca both received average falls of 25mm. Most of SA’s Murray region also received average rainfalls, with 26mm recorded in Berri.

Major water storages in the southern MDB increased slightly to 26% of storage capacity by the end of July. Total water stored was 3971 GL, 427 GL more than in June and 827 GL more than at the end of July 2007. Dartmouth and Hume Dams increased to 19% and 21% of capacity respectively, while Burrinjuck and Blowering Dams rose to 43% and 44% respectively by the end of July. While storages have increased, this volume includes carry-over water which is currently being stored for use during the season.

Download the Waterfind July Water Market Report – www.waterfind.com.au/docs/waterreport.pdf

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