The Water Challenge

Up until the compressed vintage, the water challenge was top of mind for most and indeed has been for several years in this region. The Riverland Wine team recently agreed that it is time to re-establish a regular water forum, similar to the Hort Reference Forum put in place prior to the first ever water restrictions in 2005 and four years ahead of the separation of water from the land. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan had not even been contemplated when the last forum, under the chairmanship of Kevin Pfeiffer, was put in place. Feedback from industry since the ‘Water, Water, Water’ piece in early February has been enthusiastic.

Riverland Wine is continuing to promote the idea of a forum but in the meantime, the Department for Environment and Water have developed a series of information sessions and panel discussions about water availability and outlook, water allocation planning and managing risk through the water market.

An information session, which will be facilitated by Chris Byrne, Executive Chair of Riverland Wine, will be held at the Loxton Research Centre on Thursday, March 14 commencing at 12:30pm.

Speakers will present the latest information about the current water resources and outlook, as well as improved water allocation announcement, changes to water policy and carryover rules.

Water market analysts, AITHER Water Markets, will discuss how water markets have matured since the Millennium Drought and what features of the market can help irrigators manage water availability through dry times.

The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion, including water market, irrigation industry and government representatives to answer your questions.

If you are intending to attend this public session, please contact Riverland Wine by Wednesday, March 13 to confirm your attendance.

This meeting is part of a series of public sessions to provide more timely information to River Murray irrigators so they can better prepare for the season ahead. Other sessions will be held in the Riverland on Wednesday, March 13 at the Renmark Club (1pm) and the Barmera Club (5pm) and Thursday, March 14 at the Ramco Football Club (8am).

Further information is available from Peta Brettig, Senior Project Officer River Murray WAP on 8463 6877 or email.


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