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Southern Rural Water has announced irrigators in the Macalister Irrigation District (MID) will be guaranteed at least 100% of their entitlements this season.

Manager Water Supply East, Terry Clapham, said this was a good result considering that the opening allocation on July 1 was only 45%.

“Lake Glenmaggie is currently sitting at almost 95% capacity, and has proven once again that it is one of the most reliable storages in Australia, having failed to fill only five times in 42 years. We depend on Lake Glenmaggie filling and there is an excellent chance of it happening this year,” Mr Clapham said.

“SRW also holds a reserve in the Thomson Dam which is currently around three quarters full, which is very positive. This means we can underwrite the MID allocation early, and then pay that water back to the drought reserve,” he said.

MID farmers are pleased with the announcement, which provides certainty for the coming season.

Nambrok dairy farmer David McCann said allocations had been higher than expected earlier and confirmation of the 100% allocation provided greater confidence for farmers.

“It makes it easier to make decisions for the season and provides an indication for those who have water to sell.”

Macalister Customer Consultative Committee chair Iain Stewart said the announcement meant farmers could budget for a good season and irrigate in Spring to maximise growth with the potential to continue in Summer and Autumn.

“As the industry knows, the best feed for our stock is grass and the more grass we produce, the more profitable we can be this season,” Mr Stewart said.

With the allocation now at 100%, Mr Clapham urged any customers who will not use their water this season to consider trading.

“Now is the time to make irrigation plans for the remainder of the season,” he said.

“If you think you may have a surplus, you should consider trading to others who will be able to make productive use of the water.”

For information on water trading, contact SRW on 1300 139 510 and ask for Gavin or Sarah or find out more at www.srw.com.au