At the start of each water year, the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) release an Annual Operating Plan which describes the operational activities for the River Murray system based on a range of inflow scenarios.
The plan considers a myriad of factors, including current storage levels, inter-valley trade commitments and anticipated irrigation demands just to name a few.
In preparation for high irrigation demand through the summer period, river operators have been busy putting plans in to action.
The recent high flow rates in the River Murray have been a result of water being moved from Hume Dam to Lake Victoria, which will help support South Australia as demand increases and will reduce the potential impact of the Barmah Choke delivery constraint.
The MDBA have started to call on water owed to the Murray system through Goulburn Intervalley Trade (IVT) agreements and are currently transferring water from Dartmouth Dam to Hume Dam to maintain required operating levels.
As the river operators implement these plans, water users are becoming increasingly aware of the outlook.
Inflows, irrigation demand and allocation pricing have all been marred thanks to September being Australia’s driest on record – it was the second driest on record for Victoria, fourth driest for SA and NSW was declared 100 percent in drought.
The current climatic outlook for November to January is bleak, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecast suggesting warmer and drier than average conditions will continue throughout these months.
The 2018-19 water year has been a bumpy ride to date.
High security entitlements have delivered strong allocations in the majority of zones.
However, general security entitlements in NSW Murray has failed to deliver any allocation to date.
Barring significant dam inflows, general security entitlements in NSW are forecast to remain low for the remainder of the current season.
The price of temporary allocation water in the Murray has quickly risen from a season opening price of $220 per ML to the current price of $420 - $425 per ML.
It is never too early to plan when it comes to water.
In drier years such as the current season, Ruralco Water experience an increase in demand for information from our customers such as dam levels, soil moisture and stream flow.
Water users are continuing to consider diversification of permanent entitlement portfolios and demand for alternative water products continues to grow.
According to a company spokesman, your local Ruralco Water Broker can work with you to help build a water plan that will strengthen and secure ongoing water requirements.
“We understand the products available and can talk you through the risks and opportunities that the various trade regions and restrictions may offer,” the spokesman said.
“Call or drop in to see your local Ruralco Water Broker today to start building a plan and securing your water future.”
- Visit: www.ruralcowater.com.au.