A water allocation plan (WAP) is name of the legal document that allocates water resources, along with the rules for managing the take and usage of that water. The WAP exists primarily in order to preserve and sustain the amounts fairly across the region.

In the most recent WAP, South Australian irrigators have learnt they will be facing water cuts, as the catchments across the Murray Darling Basin are well under what they should be.

According to reports by the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the two major catchments for the basin, the Murray and the Darling, are both below usual levels. 

Lower allocation

At a recent press meeting, Water Minister Ian Hunter spoke to reporters and said that farmers would only receive 36 per cent of their allocation.

"Today's earlier than usual allocation provides greater certainty, allowing irrigators and other water users the confidence they need to prepare for the dry year ahead," said Hunter.

The most recent Bureau Of Meteorology (BOM) rainfall reports are showing a combination of weak El Nino and warmer Indian Ocean temperatures, which signals above average rainfall for most of mainland Australia.

La Nina uncertainty 

La Nina, according to BOM, will being an equal chance of dryer or wetter conditions to South Australia. This could be potentially hazardous for farmers, hence the allocation announcement was held earlier than it is normally, to allow farmers to prepare.

Riverland MP Tim Whetstone spoke to The Australian about how South Australia food producers would be struggling to survive.

There is some hope to this desperate situation for irrigators, as they will be permitted to carry over any unused water allocation from 2015/16 – up to 20 per cent.

To further conserve water, some farmers could look to investing in a quality rainwater tank. For more information on how Alkatuff could help you, get in touch today.

By David Francis