The RGA attempts to estimate tomorrow's allocation announcements


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 security irrigators.

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.

NSW Murray

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.

Governments would 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 gigalitres.

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 11%

While, we 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.

While the 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