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Southern Rural Water has announced a 35% allocation against low reliability shares held by Macalister Irrigation District irrigators, in addition to 100% of their high reliability water.

SRW records show a lower than average inflow to storages throughout 2018.  Lake Glenmaggie is currently at 72% capacity, which means SRW has not been able to offer spill entitlement this season, assessed annually on 15 December.

Acting Manager Water Supply East, Gavin Prior said that although the district benefited from recent rainfall, there was little run-off from the upper Macalister catchment to Lake Glenmaggie.

“Inflows have been low, and insufficient to keep up with demand from customers,” he said. After a dry start to the season, MID irrigators are estimated to have used 40% of their allocation. “Having low reliability allocation in December allows irrigators to plan their water use for the remainder of the season.”

Lake Glenmaggie is one of the most reliable storages in Australia, with a catchment five times the size of the Thomson Dam, while being only one-quarter the size of the Thomson.  It fills and delivers spill entitlement to MID on average nine years out of every 10. The last time Glenmaggie did not spill was 2006.

SRW will review water allocation fortnightly for the remainder of the season and the low reliability allocation may be increased if inflows allow. If customers need more water, there are options to trade with other MID customers or to buy water.

There is an online auction for 2018-19 MID water, starting from 11am Tuesday 18 December and running through to 11am Thursday 20 December. There is 134ML available to be sold in 10 Lots. “This is a no reserve auction with the aim of getting more water into production for customers as quickly as possible,” Mr Prior said.

Bidders need to register on the online system WaterBid at Further online auctions are planned for the season and there will be a permanent water share auction in February.

For more information, please call 1300 139 510.