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Autumn season outlook: a dry forecast but still plenty of water in the storages

29 February 2024 | News
29 February 2024

Despite the forecast of a dry autumn, a wetter than usual November to January has meant there is plenty of water available in the storages for irrigation customers, alongside lower than average usage by groundwater and rivers customers. 

Groundwater and rivers customers across the state experienced dry conditions early in spring followed by unseasonably wet conditions late in the year. Consequently, usage by licence holders is well down on the long-term average.  

In the southwest, soil moisture is average or slightly drier in dairy areas, so irrigation will continue for some time. Rivers will now be placed on some form of restriction, which is later than usual for the region for this time of the year. Groundwater and rivers customers in west, south and east Gippsland will also continue to irrigate even though some restrictions will start to be placed on creeks. 

Licence holders are encouraged to call their local roster hotline or field officer for information on restrictions in their area.or field officer for information on restrictions in their area. 

Customers wanting more detailed information on soil moisture and climate information can check out the Fast Break newsletter published by Agriculture Victoria. Additional information can also be found on the Bureau of Meteorology’s Climate Driver Update page. 

In the Macalister Irrigation Area, customers are irrigating every five to 10 days, utilising the available 100% High Reliability Water Shares and 5% Low Reliability Water Shares. 

With the wet weather and spill extending to 15 December, customers have plenty of available water and will likely irrigate late into autumn. 

It is similar for Werribee Irrigation District customers. A wet December and full storages have meant a determination of 100% High Reliability Water Shares and 100% Low Reliability Water Shares. 

A drier autumn will likely lead to a spike in demand for water for both the Macalister and Werribee. This is putting pressure on the delivery system and some delays may be possible.  

This factsheet provides information on water deliveries, what we’re doing to deliver the best outcomes, how we can work together to make things easier for everyone, and the details for MCCC members you can talk with to share ideas.  

We remind customers, that you are responsible for managing water use and should regularly read your water meter to monitor use against your entitlement. We have a zero-tolerance approach to non-compliance.