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Macalister irrigators will receive 100% allocation against their low reliability shares this season, in addition to 100% of their high reliability water.

Southern Rural Water announced the additional 80% allocation increase on low-reliability shares today Tuesday (6 April) after reviewing the current volume in Lake Glenmaggie and the allocation model.

Acting Manager Water Supply East, Matt Cook, said that with Lake Glenmaggie at 43% full, there was plenty of capacity for Macalister Irrigation District (MID) farmers to complete their final irrigations before the close of the season on 15 May.

He said that Lake Glenmaggie is a highly reliable storage, with a catchment four times the size of the Thomson Dam, despite being only one-fifth its size. Irrigation demand had been slower this season, largely due to early good rainfalls.

“We had the confidence in the storage volumes to open the season with 100% allocation. And good inflows subsequently meant that MID customers received spill entitlement up until 19 November, using 25,000 megalitres (ML) during this period. This effectively allowed them to then ‘reset’ their allocation for 100% from 20 November onwards,” he said.

SRW reviews water allocation fortnightly during the season from 15 August to 15 May and allocation may be increased as storage volumes are assessed against delivery.

Mr Cook reminded MID stock and domestic customers that the pipeline outlets, along with channel water, are not available when the irrigation system is shutdown for winter. “Those relying on it will need to make alternative arrangements for the shutdown period to 15 August,” he said.

If irrigators have any questions about their allocation or access, please call the Water Supply team on 1300 139 510.