Opening allocations forecast lifts to 22pc

SA opening water allocations forecast lifts to 22pc

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The state government has increased SA opening water allocations predictions to 22pc.

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FOLLOWING improved inflows in upper River Murray storages, the state government has increased SA opening water allocations predictions to 22 per cent.

SA Water Minister David Speirs announced the increase today, saying it was due to recent rainfall occurring in the catchment and that further improvements were "highly likely".

The announcement follows a prediction given in February of a low 14pc.

"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," he said.

Department for Environment and Water River Murray Water Operations Manager Jarrod Eaton agreed that significant improvements across 2019-20 remained 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," he said.

"The Bureau of Meteorology's outlook across the Murray-Darling Basin shows there is no strong indication either way towards a wetter or drier-than-average three months ahead.

"We will continue to provide regular water allocation updates and reflect any improved water availability."

The next opening allocation announcement is expected in mid-June.

To help irrigators prepare for the 2019-20 water use year, the government has organised two drop-in sessions next week.

They will involve Department staff and will cover the current water resources outlook, the private carryover policy, water allocation projections and water licensing matters.

Other service providers, including water brokers and counsellors, are being invited to provide further support and answer questions from irrigators and other community members.

The first will be held at the Loxton Research Centre on Monday (May 20), while the second is at the Murray Bridge Golf Club on Wednesday (May 22).

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