New irrigation season opened strongly

THE Macalister Irrigation District irrigation season has opened this week with 85 per cent  high reliability allocation, giving district farmers confidence despite the continuing dry season.

Southern Rural Water reported some good inflows to Lake Glenmaggie from snow melt and rainfall in the upper catchment, bringing capacity to 56.9 per cent, up from a low of 17.5 per cent at the end of the previous irrigation season in May.

Water supply east manager Terry Clapham said the recent inflows had made it possible to increase the opening allocation for the 2018-19 season from 40 per cent, which was announced in July.

“Our MID customers know that Glenmaggie is a very reliable annual storage, as it demonstrates again this year at a time when everyone is looking to start irrigating because of the lack of rainfall,” he said.

The channels and pipeline sections across the district have been filling steadily since last week.

Mr Clapham said there was already strong demand for irrigation water, given the continuing dry conditions.

He urged customers to lodge their orders on Waterline promptly to allow efficient scheduling and delivery.

The district had a record-breaking 2017-18 season, with Southern Rural Water delivering 189,000 megalitres by season close on May 15. 

This was the highest delivery volume since 1992.

SRW reviews the allocation fortnightly throughout the season, and adjusts it 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.

Mr Clapham urged farmers to consider their water use early and plan ahead.

MID customers who would like more water can buy permanent water shares or seasonal allocation, either from other customers or directly from SRW through its water share auction and allocation auctions on Waterbid.

Allocation can also be sourced from the Watermatch page on www.srw.com.au

Southern Rural Water reported some good inflows to Lake Glenmaggie from snow melt and rainfall in the upper catchment, bringing capacity to 56.9 per cent, up from a low of 17.5 per cent at the end of the previous irrigation season in May.

Water supply east manager Terry Clapham said the recent inflows had made it possible to increase the opening allocation for the 2018-19 season from 40 per cent, which was announced in July.

For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.

Gippsland Senior
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