Rain lifts allocations for South Australia

By Country News

Recent rain across the Murray-Darling catchment will help lift water allocations for South Australian irrigators.

The SA Government said initial allocations for the coming financial year had been set at 22 per cent of entitlements, better than the earlier, worst-case forecast of just 14 per cent.

SA Water Minister David Speirs said further increases were also highly likely.

‘‘The expert advice given to me suggests that as the main inflow season arrives in the coming months we should see significant improvements in water allocations,’’ Mr Speirs said.

SA’s River Murray Water Operations manager Jarrod Eaton said the change to the opening allocation was based on advice from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and reflected recent rainfall and updated water availability conditions.

‘‘There has been some recent rainfall and improved inflows in the upper River Murray storages, which is a positive turnaround compared to the dry and warm conditions observed in recent months,’’ Mr Eaton said.

‘‘Despite the minimum 22 per cent opening allocation, significant improvements across 2019-20 remain likely.

‘‘Most inflows to the River Murray system historically occur between July and November, so the main rainfall and inflow season is yet to arrive.’’