River Murray continues to improve

River Murray continues to improve

Agribusiness
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River Murray water resource conditions continue to improve due to recent rainfall and high inflows into the system.

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River Murray water resource conditions continue to improve due to recent rainfall and high inflows into the system.

A total inflow of 1480 gigalitres was received during October, above the long-term average October inflow of about 1400GL.

River Murray Minster Paul Caica said River Murray system inflow from June 1 until the end of October was 6810GL, above the long-term average of 6420GL for the same period.

“Another high inflow is expected during November with a forecast minimum inflow of 920GL, compared to the long term average for November of 780GL,” he said.

“With further rainfall forecast across the Upper Murray catchment over the next week, this inflow is likely to improve.

“This is excellent news for the River Murray because for the first time since 2000-01, four consecutive months of above average inflow will be received.

“SA will receive its full entitlement flow of 1850GL during 2010-11, and improvements above 1850GL have been directed towards reserves for 2011-12.

“The recovery of inflow into the River Murray system and the increasing volumes in storage is continuing to build reserves for 2011-12, thereby providing all states with an improved starting position for next water year.”

Mr Caica said SA’s general allocations will remain at 67 per cent (422GL) during 2010- 11.

“This, together with the 228GL of carryover already allocated, takes us to our 650GL allocation cap,’’ he said.

“Access to 100pc of carryover has been in place from July 1, 2010.”

Mr Caica said a review of the drought carry-over arrangements in SA was continuing, in consultation with key stakeholder groups.

A decision on the arrangements in 2011-12 is expected by mid-December 2010.

The current volume in Hume, Dartmouth, Menindee Lakes and Lake Victoria is 7420GL (80pc capacity) compared to the long-term average for this time of year of about 7400GL (79pc).

The current storage volumes include large volumes of water for 2011-12 reserves and environmental water entitlements.

The improved flow conditions in the River Murray have provided SA with more than 1000GL of unregulated flow since September 2010.

This unregulated flow is expected to continue into December 2010.

This has provided an opportunity to release water into the Coorong and has significantly improved salinity levels at a number of other locations.

Flow to SA is expected to remain about 30-35GL/day for about the next 2-3 weeks, depending upon river operations, water use and weather conditions upstream of SA.

* Details: www.mdba.gov.au

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