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After recent rain, Macalister Irrigation District irrigators have been allocated 70% against high reliability water shares, giving them confidence to plan for the coming season.

Inflows to Lake Glenmaggie and Thomson dam from recent rainfall in the upper catchments have brought Lake Glenmaggie’s storage volume to 64,663 ML or 36.4% and rising, slightly more than the 30.7% level reported at the same time last year.

Manager Water Supply East, Gavin Prior, explained that Lake Glenmaggie is an annual storage with a large and steep catchment area, so is able to recover quickly after rain. The allocation of 70% is an increase from the 45% opening allocation announced on 1 July.

“This increase is good news for farmers during a period of drought,” he said. The catchment is responding well to rainfall with totals for July up to 38.5mm, which is already above the average for the month.

 “We have had an extremely dry year,” said Mr Prior. “The recent rain has given us some respite but the outlook for August to October is still dry with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting only a 40% chance of exceeding median rainfall in the local area.”

Mr Prior urged customers to plan and complete a water budget early so they can make the best value of this season’s water to support on farm production.

The allocation will be reviewed regularly throughout the season and is adjusted to take into account future rainfall and inflows into the storage.