Farmers can be reassured their entire water allocation is there to be used, after a recent Murray-Darling Basin Authority communique clarified the matter.
The communique stated, “The Basin Plan provides for the allocation and use of that water up to the sustainable diversion limit in each catchment”.
Minister for Water Resources, David Littleproud, said the Basin Plan was designed so irrigators could use their allocations up to the limit set in their catchment.
“The MDBA has made it clear they want to see farmers use all the water up to that limit,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The states need to allocate water in a way that makes sure farmers get every drop they own.”
The communique also stated, “[The] cap and transitional take reporting has shown a trend in underutilisation” of water.
“This suggests large volumes of water are being left idle and there is a growing trend of farmers not using all the water available to them,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The water not being used could make a big difference to irrigators right across the Basin.
“It’s up to individuals to decide how to use their water based on what’s best for their business.
“I want to understand why there is underuse and if any changes are needed.
“Right now every drop of water counts, so it’s puzzling to see it left unused.
“We need to get under the bonnet of this to find why it’s going on.
“I will ask the states to work with me to find out why water was being left idle which would have come in handy for farmers during the drought.
“Together we can make sure water is being used in a way that delivers the best outcomes for farmers and their communities.”
To read the MDBA’s Water Take report, visit https://www.mdba.gov.au/publications/mdbareports/transitional-sdl-water-take-reports
To read the MDBA’s communique of 13 November 2019, visit https://www.mdba.gov.au/sites/default/files/pubs/191113-Authority-communique.pdf