Cotton, Rice, Water managment, water markets

NSW Murray Allocations updated

1 August 2017

NSW Murray and Lower Darling Water allocation update

There is no increase in NSW Murray regulated river general security allocation at this time.

July has been extremely dry with Murray inflows forecast to exceed 98 in 100 years (98% Annual Exceedance Probability).

This assessment is based on an updated carryover volume of 41 per cent of entitlement, meaning that overall general security water availability is 54 per cent of entitlement. Of note, about 60 per cent of licence holders carried over the maximum 50 per cent entitlement.

Upper Murray storage levels (as at 31 July 2017)

  • Dartmouth Dam is 79 per cent full – steady – holding 3,034,000 megalitres (ML).
  • Hume Dam is 76 per cent full – rising – holding 2,282,000 ML.

    Climatic outlook

    The Bureau of Meteorology seasonal outlook indicates that below average rainfall conditions over much of the Murray Valley are likely to continue from August to October, particularly in August. It is also highly likely that above average temperatures will continue over the coming three months, with greater than 80 per cent chance of warmer than average days and nights.

    Both of Australia’s major climate drivers at this time of year, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), continue to remain neutral.

    In the Murray, trade across the Barmah choke remains restricted to ‘no net trade downstream’.

    Downstream trade opens automatically to the extent of the volume of any upstream trade.

    The trade restriction protects existing downstream entitlement holders from the risk of delivery shortfall caused by the limited physical capacity of the Barmah choke.

    Water users are encouraged to monitor the MDBA website at – water/water-markets-trade/interstate-water-trade/barmah-choke-trade-balance – for information about the trade balance and status of trade.

    Lower Darling water source trade is open, including inter-valley trade.


                                            High Security General Security Average Carryover


97%                    13%                  41%

Lower Darling

100%                100%                     n/a

Trade into (and within) the Murrumbidgee Valley is open, and trade out of the Murrumbidgee Valley opened on Friday, 28 July 2017. Water users are encouraged to monitor the WaterNSW website at – – for information about the Murrumbidgee IVT account balance and closure triggers.

Next announcements

The next allocation update for the NSW Murray and Lower Darling valleys will be on Tuesday 15 August 2017, and will contain an updated probability analysis showing likely improvement in water availability under different inflow scenarios, including the rocket diagram.

Read the full update here