In anticipation of
tomorrow’s allocation announcement, the RGA is looking to the NSW Department of
Planning, Industry and Environment (DEPI - Water) to make a general security
allocation announcement for our growers.
The RGA has reviewed
the recent Murray and Murrumbidgee rainfall events and system inflows, and
based on our analysis we expect there have been sufficient inflows to justify a
small allocation increase for both our NSW Murray and Murrumbidgee general
The RGA reinforces however
that our estimates, as summarised below, should not be relied upon. These
figures are simply our best attempt to predict the likely allocation
announcements using publicly available information. Unfortunately though the
RGA, like many others, often find the Water Allocation Determinations
surprising and difficult to interpret.
Nonetheless, in the
instance that our estimates are incorrect, we challenge the NSW DEPI Water to
work with ourselves, our growers and other stakeholders to develop an allocations
system that is more transparent, more predictable and timelier in accounting
for water availability.
Since the last
comprehensive NSW Murray allocation statement on 15 April, the Murray’s four
key storage have seen significant inflows of approximately 460 gigalitres.
reasonably expect further improvements to storages in the coming weeks,
considering the continuation of significant flows in the Murray system and
inflows into the Menindee Lakes. These river flows will also offset the need to
allocate water to cover river operations and losses, further improving the
water available for allocation.
Taking into account
the water sharing arrangements between the three States, we believe the total
resource improvement in NSW’s account would be at the very least 150
Noting that the 15
April Water Allocation Statement required 115 gigalitres to be set aside to
meet 2020-21 high priority needs before a General Security allocation would be
made, we therefore expect that at the very least 35 gigalitres will be
allocated to General Security accounts in this last announcement for the
2019-20. This is equivalent to a 2% general security allocation.
Similarly, in the
Murrumbidgee System, since 15 April, more than 100 gigalitres has flowed into
the Burrinjuck and Blowering storages, as well as inflows from tributaries
below the key storages that will offset the need for operational water.
Noting that the 15
April water allocation statement provides that the 2020-21 high priority
commitments have already been secured in the Murrumbidgee, we would expect this
resource improvement to result in an allocation improvement for Murrumbidgee
General Security holders of at least 5%, taking their total water allocation to
acknowledge the NSW government’s position that it is difficult to account for
recent improvements in resource in a timely fashion, we argue that this excuse
does not fly when we can see overall storage levels improving on a daily basis,
and when any water allocation is of such critical importance to our growers.
anticipated improvements are only small, every drop counts for our NSW Murray
and Murrumbidgee irrigators, who have faced little to no allocation for near
two years now
Media Contacts: Belinda Lambert, RGA Communications Manager - 0488 071 165
Robert Massina, RGA President – 0448 999 288