More water for Vic­to­rian ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

Water al­lo­ca­tions in the Mur­ray, Goul­burn and Lod­don sys­tems in the Goul­burnMur­ray Water dis­trict have in­creased.

North­ern Vic­to­ria re­source man­ager Mark Bai­ley said the Mur­ray sys­tem had moved from 84 per cent of high-re­li­a­bil­ity water shares to 89 per cent.

The Goul­burn sys­tem and the Lod­don sys­tem in­creased from 77 per cent to 82 per cent HRWS.

The sea­sonal de­ter­mi­na­tion in the Bro­ken sys­tem in­creased from 14 per cent to 17 per cent HRWS.

The Cam­paspe sys­tem re­mained at 100 per cent HRWS and the Bulla­rook sys­tem re­mained at 100 per cent HRWS and 100 per cent of low-re­li­a­bil­ity water shares.

Dr Bai­ley said the change in water avail­abil­ity was as­sisted by recent rain.

‘‘Al­though the rain dur­ing Oc­to­ber fell on rel­a­tively dry catch­ments, the flows into the ma­jor stor­ages held or in­creased slightly,’’ he said.

‘‘Our pre­vi­ous con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mates an­tic­i­pated flows re­duc­ing.’’

Dr Bai­ley said weather con­di­tions would in­flu­ence any water avail­abil­ity im­prove­ments.

‘‘The Oc­to­ber rain­fall to­tals were av­er­age to be­low av­er­age across much of north­ern Vic­to­ria, with some catch­ment to­tals very much be­low av­er­age. Flows into the stor­ages were well be­low av­er­age.

‘‘The catch­ments are dry­ing and sig­nif­i­cant rain will be needed to gen­er­ate large in­creases in the sea­sonal de­ter­mi­na­tions in the short term.

‘‘Small im­prove­ments will con­tinue if evap­o­ra­tion and river losses re­main lower than our es­ti­mates, which can oc­cur with some rain­fall and cooler tem­per­a­tures.’’

Dr Bai­ley said the cli­mate out­looks sug­gested drier con­di­tions would con­tinue.

‘‘The lat­est Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy sea­sonal outlook in­di­cates be­low-av­er­age rain­fall is more likely dur­ing the Novem­ber to Jan­uary pe­riod,’’ he said.

‘‘The bureau has is­sued an El Nin˜ o Alert, mean­ing the chance of an El Nin˜ o form­ing in 2018 is around 70 per cent and there are signs a pos­i­tive In­dian Ocean Dipole is form­ing.

‘‘An El Nin˜ o and pos­i­tive In­dian Ocean Dipole in­creases the pos­si­bil­ity of dry con­di­tions.’’

Dr Bai­ley urged water users to con­tinue plan­ning their water needs care­fully.

■ As of Novem­ber 1, the NSW Mur­ray gen­eral se­cu­rity was still at zero per cent.

The high se­cu­rity fig­ure of 97 per cent also re­mained stag­nant from the Oc­to­ber 15 an­nounce­ment.

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