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Published: 15 February 2019   •   Media release

To better equip water entitlement holders in the River Murray System, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has undertaken an assessment of the risks that could impact on water order deliveries this summer.

MDBA Executive Director of River Management, Andrew Reynolds, said the assessment found that the risk of a shortfall was very low in the coming weeks but there was a slightly higher possibility of water delivery shortfall risk in March.

"The assessment found that overall the risk of a water delivery shortfall this season is low, however should conditions turn even drier then the risk of a shortfall later in the season increases slightly," Mr Reynolds said.

"That's due to a range of reasons including the possibility that there will be an unexpected spike in demand at a time when traditionally demand from water users is tapering off.

"The risk of water delivery shortfall is not a new one for water entitlement holders, it is one they face each year. Importantly it should be factored into their business decisions and planning.

"It's also a normal part of our business to factor in water delivery risks when running the river and we, along with state governments, have identified a range of mitigation measures to help us manage potential shortfalls.

"Those measures include raising Euston Weir pool, drawing on water from Lake Boga, utilising the Goulburn Inter Valley Trade account, working with the state authorities and users to vary and re-time demands and continuing to transfer water through the Murray Irrigation Limited escapes.

"I am confident in the assessment's finding and that these measures will be sufficient to mitigate against a possible March shortfall event as it stands.

"However, conditions do change and we will be keeping a close eye on demand and conditions."

The MDBA is undertaking work on River Murray capacity and shortfall risks in consultation with Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia and will be providing the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council with an update mid-year.

To find out more about the 2018-19 MDBA risk assessment view the MDBA risk assessment for deliverability of water over summer 2018-19

For more information about water delivery shortfall see the Understanding River Murray water delivery shortfall risks factsheet or talk with your state water authority or water corporation.


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