Australia lifts water allocation to irrigators

11:31, August 02, 2010      

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Australian irrigators along the Murray River in South Australia are to get more water, official said on Monday.

River Murray Minister Paul Caica said water allocations would be lifted from 24 percent to 31 percent of normal entitlements.

The increase came after the delivery of promised environmental flows down the river and recent rainfall across the Murray-Darling Basin.

"Recent rainfall across the Murray-Darling Basin has resulted in 590 gigaliters of inflow being recorded in July, which is well above the 200 gigaliters originally forecast in early July," Caica told Australian Associated Press.

"The increase to 31 percent is good news for River Murray irrigators in South Australia and is considerably higher than at this time last year, when irrigation allocations were at just five percent.

"Previously we were forecasting general allocations to be at 25 percent by the end of August, so it is pleasing that we have been able to increase them to 31 percent."

But Caica said it was important to note that River Murray storages remained low in comparison to long-term averages.

Total storage levels in the system were at 46 percent of capacity, well above last year's 21 percent but below the long- term average for winter of 71 percent.

Source: Xinhua


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