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The Macalister Irrigation District has had a record-breaking season with Southern Rural Water delivering 189,000 megalitres (ML) to customers in 2017-18. This was the highest delivery volume since 1992.

Acting Manager Water Supply East, Gavin Prior, said the opening allocation for the 2018-19 season will be 40% of high reliability water shares.

“With Lake Glenmaggie being an annual fill-and-spill storage, it is not unusual for the opening allocation to start out low, especially given the record deliveries from last season and continued dry conditions,” he said.

He said the record delivery result was achieved, despite last year’s opening allocation of 45% and an overall dry season, because Lake Glenmaggie has such a large, reliable catchment.

“Lake Glenmaggie is currently 25% full, but it is one of the most reliable storages in Australia, having failed to fill only five times in 43 years,” Mr Prior said.  SRW also holds a reserve in the Thomson Dam, which is currently at 32,700ML.

“This means we can provide a higher opening allocation for customers, allowing them to plan water use for the coming season,” he said.

The allocation is reviewed fortnightly throughout the season and is adjusted to take into account guaranteed inflows into the storage.

The short to medium-term outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology is for a high chance of a drier than normal winter and spring. SRW records also show a lower than average rainfall and inflow to storages since February. “With a drier than average outlook it is a good idea to complete a water use plan and consider your water needs early,” he said.

MID customers who would like more water can buy permanent water shares, either from other customers or the available SRW “shelf-price” entitlements, or trade water via the Watermatch page on www.srw.com.au.