Agriculture businesses reliant on irrigation water from the Murray River have been assured of an extra 50 gigalitres of supply.
The South Australian government has updated its water allocation policy to ensure that irrigators will receive sustainable allocations in dry years.
This means that less water will be supplied to Adelaide residents from the Murray River – the deficit being made up from the city’s desalinisation plant.
The provincial government has guaranteed that it will bear any increased costs from this decision and that there will be no impact on water prices paid by SA Water household and business customer.
Water and the River Murray Minister Ian Hunter said: “The water resources of the Murray-Darling Basin are essential to the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of South Australians.
“We carried out extensive consultation on this water allocation plan so that primary producers, industry and communities could have their say.
“The aim of this plan is to provide security to all water users and to maintain the River Murray as a resource that must be managed sustainably for all users now and into the future.
“Ensuring water flow even during dry years will also help our environment by keeping the Murray Mouth open, flushing salt from the system and providing environmental flows to wetlands and floodplains.”