Water forecasts all positive

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Chris Olszak points out the relative health of water storages this season.

Northern Victorian irrigators are facing a season of full entitlements and low allocation prices, according to water experts presenting at a VFF seminar.

With close to full water storages and the promise of average or above average rainfall in the short term, prices are likely to stay low for temporary water, the farmers heard.

Aither director Chris Olszak told the meeting that entitlement prices were at an all-time high but allocation prices had collapsed due to the wet conditions.

He believes this season will be a good one for allocation prices — and there was likely to be at least two good years ahead.

In terms of carryover strategy for the coming season, Chris suggested that in the Victorian Murray system, high-reliability water would be too risky — while in the Victorian Goulburn system, it would be a reasonable gamble at very low allocation prices.

Source: Northern Victorian resource manager.

Acting northern Victorian resource manager Andrew Shields pointed out that all northern Victorian irrigation systems had 100 per cent opening allocations for high-reliability water.

The Hume and Dartmouth storages were more than 90 per cent full, and Eildon on the Goulburn River was holding 77 per cent of capacity, which was 20 per cent more than for the same time last year.

Storage inflows for the major storages were well above the average for July to April.

Bureau of Meteorology data shows rainfall between July last year and April this year was close to average, while the chance of rain exceeding the average in the coming months was good.

For the first time ever, Murray system irrigators were entitled to 100 per cent low-reliability water shares in the latest seasonal determination.

Low-reliability allocations for the Goulburn system were possible this coming year.

Source: Northern Victorian resource manager.