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17/02/2009

Water allocations bring little relief

Allocation announcements made today across the southern Murray-Darling Basin will give irrigators little additional water.

The NSW Department of Water and Energy has announced that Murray and Murrumbidgee allocations will remain unchanged following a month of low rainfall, higher river transmission losses, very low stream flows and extreme temperatures.

Murray Irrigation Limited has announced that its general security customers will receive an additional 1% allocation, effective immediately. As a result, all NSW Murray general security licence holders are now on 9% allocation. An estimate of the extra water granted through this increase is 16 gigalitres (GL).

Goulburn-Murray Water has also announced an increase of 1% to Goulburn system high reliability water shares, which makes available an additional 9 GL of water and brings the total allocation to 30%. All other northern Victorian systems remain unchanged. It has also been announced that the final allocation for this season will be advised by GMW on Wednesday 1 April.

South Australian Minister for the River Murray Karlene Maywald has also announced today that allocations to irrigators will remain at 18%.

Tom Rooney, chief executive of national water broker Waterfind, said that “conditions remain extremely tough for irrigators as we approach the end of the season”.

“The ability to carry-over water is going to be a saving grace for many growers,” Rooney said.

Temporary water trades in the southern Murray-Darling Basin are currently occurring in the $280-$300/ ML range.

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