A credible pathway to offset the remaining Basin Plan water recovery gap of approximately 650GL was identified and presented by the Australia’s RGA President Mr. Jeremy Morton, at the 2017 meeting of the Federal and Murray Darling Basin Water Ministers who met in Mildura on 17th March. “I wish you all the best for a safe harvest with plenty of tonnes of good quality rice,” said Jeremy addressing the meeting. He stressed that RGA is doing all we can to ensure agreement is achieved as recovery of another 650GL is not an option.
This plan requires a degree of goodwill and empathy from all involved and will be presented at the next COAG meeting which has to happen by 30th June this year. The Minister’s plan will also identify possible pathways to addressing constraints which impede delivery of environmental water and recovery of a further 450GL by 2024. The terms of reference for an independent analysis of efficiency measures associated with recovery of the 450GL was also agreed to. This is to ensure any recovery has neutral or improved socio-economic outcomes. RGA does not support the recovery of a further 450GL.
In the Murray and Murrumbidgee Valley there is annual water accounting, with the water year running from 1 July to 30 June. Carryover is a risk management tool for irrigators. It provides general security entitlement holders with a tool to help manage water allocation variability between years, particularly when there is a risk of low early season allocations. Carryover allows for the water remaining in a water allocation account at the end of one water year to remain in the account and be transferred or ‘carried over’ to the next water year.