Water allocations in the Murray Valley increased by only three per cent on Friday.ZOE MCMAUGH August 5, 2014 3:53am
Farmers will need to ‘‘take a gamble’’ on summer watering programs with water allocations in the Murray Valley increasing by only three per cent on Friday.
Southern Riverina Irrigators chair John Bradford said the increase to 12 per cent of general security allocations was less than was hoped.
With challenging water storage and weather conditions ahead, Mr Bradford said there were some uncertainties for farmers.
He said there were also some positives for the year ahead, which he said points to a ‘‘normal’’ irrigation year.
‘‘With all the water in the dams (Dartmouth and Hume) I thought we would have more (of an allocation),’’ Mr Bradford said.
‘‘It’s going up and it’s only a start, but I would have hoped for a minimum of 15 per cent.
‘‘It’s hard to organise a summer program with this announcement, so there’ll be a lot of gambling going on.
‘‘There are some positives in that there is a lot of snow in the hills and the system is all very wet, which still needs to be taken into account.
‘‘With that snow and a couple of good rainfalls, we could be okay.’’
NSW Office of Water forward projections for October 2014 show the maximum likely allocation will be 56 per cent of entitlement. It predicts a 50 per cent chance of that occurring.
NOW predicts a 90 per cent chance of very dry conditions, which would lead to another modest increase to only 19 per cent by October 1.
It predicts a 75 per cent chance the allocation will be increased to 38 per cent of entitlement by October 1.
‘‘We did have below average rainfall in July across the region, but when you look back even a few years ago we can see that it’s not as bad as the drought years,’’ Mr Bradford said.
‘‘One ongoing concern is Menindee (Lake) being so low – the two high dams (Hume and Dartmouth) are near full but Menindee is low.’’
Low levels at Menindee mean restrictions for trading out of the Murrumbidgee remain closed, with trade to and from the Lower Darling now also closed.
Mr Bradford said farmers also need to be mindful of continuing frosts damaging crops.
‘‘We have been lucky that the weather has been mild and good for growing, but there are some concerns about early flowering canola.
‘‘We have had a few frosts and we will get a few more before winter is over.
‘‘There has been some frost damage to those early crops, but we don’t yet know the full extent.
‘‘What we don’t want is big frosts and dry winds.’’
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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