Aither was pleased to participate in a series of River Murray Water Information Sessions held across the South Australian (SA) Murray region between 14 and 18 March. The sessions were incredibly well attended by around 500 irrigators, water industry participants and a range of government agencies.

The information sessions were held to advise and consult with the irrigation industry on the climate conditions and outlook, the upcoming opening allocation announcements, new carryover arrangements and broader water market trends, drivers and risk management opportunities available to irrigators.

The six sessions were held at:

  • Renmark (hosted by Renmark Irrigation Trust),
  • Barmerra (hosted by Central Irrigation Trust),
  • Waikerie (hosted by Citrus Growers of SA),
  • Loxton (hosted by Riverland Wine),
  • Murray Bridge (hosted by the South Australian Dairy Farmers’ Association), and
  • Langhorne Creek (hosted by Langhorne Creek Grape and Wine)

We wanted to congratulate the SA Department of Environment and Water (DEW), SA Murray–Darling Basin NRM Board and local irrigation and industry groups, who brought together the six sessions. Aither was also very pleased to have a dialogue with the many participants and to share Aither’s water market expertise.

Over the series, the SA DEW shared its new approach to managing water in the SA Murray and provided information on the dry conditions currently facing the area. Jarrod Eaton from DEW presented on River Murray Dry conditions — outlining the very low inflows, a breakdown of water in storages, and indications on climate conditions for 2019-20.

Ashley Kingsborough — also from DEW — gave a summary of how water management has been improved in the SA Murray including:

  • providing projected minimum opening allocations by mid-April each year,
  • providing regular water information including probabilities on future allocations throughout the water year,
  • more regular updates on water conditions, and
  • improvements to the way carryover is offered and managed.

This new approach will give irrigation enterprises improved access to crucial water information to help them make better water use and business decisions.

Aither’s Chris Olszak and Kai Wakerman Powell were engaged to provide a system-wide overview of supply and demand changes across the southern Murray–Darling Basin, recent trends in prices, and to provide information on the new and innovative options available to irrigators to help manage water supply risk for their businesses.

The water market now provides more risk management options to irrigators than ever before. Aither’s Water Markets team covered diversifying entitlement purchase, allocation markets, forwards, entitlement leases, and parking among other options. The main point of our presentation was that every irrigation business should consider these options on their merits and the extent to which they help meet the nuance of meeting the risks, costs and benefits with the needs of each irrigation enterprise.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion which prompted dialogue with irrigators and industry representatives.

We appreciated the opportunity to engage directly with all session participants on water markets, risk management options and the 2019-20 outlook.

For more information on the sessions or how Aither can support your water management and trading decision making, please contact me on chris.olszak@aither.com.au

Further information can be found here.