Murray irrigators receive an allocation for the first time in two years

NSW Murray Irrigators have received a general security allocation for the first time since March 2018, given three per cent.
NSW Murray Irrigators have received a general security allocation for the first time since March 2018, given three per cent.

For the first time since March 2018, NSW Murray irrigators have received a general security allocation - three per cent announced in the NSW Department of Industry's Water Allocation Statement this morning.

The statement said rainfall in late April had resulted in an increased resource of 170,000 megalitres for the NSW Murray.

They said the increase means it is now highly likely that all high priority products will receive a full allocation on July 1 for the 2020/21 water year, erasing the deficits of recent years caused by the lack of inflow.

It was predicted the next water year could still open on zero per cent for general security, but chances of it increasing during the year were much more likely than recent years.

"From resource improvements in 2020/21, allocations will be made to general security licences, particularly early in the water year," they said.

The statement showing a 50 per cent chance of NSW Murray irrigators being given a three per cent general security allocation by September 1 and 30 per cent by November 1.

How full are the storages?

Hume Dam is now 20 per cent full, Dartmouth Dam is 50 per cent full and Lake Victoria is 42 per cent full.

In recent weeks speculation that inflows would be enough to create an allocation were tempered by the fact that dam levels were still below what they were at this time last year.

The statement today, confirming current water stored in Hume and Dartmouth dams combined is about 380,000 ML lower than this time last year.

However, much more water had been saved for the 2020/2021 High Priority Needs than last season.

General security allocations are only released once the High Priority Water Needs for 2020/2021 are met.

In April last year the Allocation Statement showed only 85GL had been saved for the next year's High Priority Water needs.

This April, 285GL had already been saved, the Department saying they needed another 115GL to make their 400GL target.

Today, they confirmed they had 435GL put away for High Priority needs for the 2020/2021 water year.

Murrumbidgee allocation increased to 11 per cent

Murrumbidgee irrigators also woke to happy news this morning, their general security allocation rising to 11 per cent from six per cent.

The Water Allocation Statement said Murrumbidgee general security water availability (allocation plus carryover) has now reached on average 19 per cent of entitlement.

It was predicted there was a 50 per cent chance Murrumbidgee irrigators would receive 37 per cent by September 1 and 60 per cent by November 1.

This story Murray irrigators receive an allocation first appeared on The Land.