Up to 100mm of rain has fallen in parts of New South
Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory, bolstering hopes of a return to a
normal winter rainfall pattern.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, a large belt of western NSW and
south-western Queensland received up to 100mm, as did pockets of Victoria and
Tasmania, and much of Central Australia.
More generally, most of eastern
Australia's grain-growing areas received up to 50mm.
The latest figures
show 83.3% of NSW remains drought-stricken, despite average rainfall being
recorded in April.
However, the prospect remains of a zero water
allocation for irrigators after July despite recent rainfall.
South Australia's Minister for the River Murray, Karlene
Maywald, says Murray-Darling Basin storages are at 10% of
capacity, holding about 920 gigalitres.
Mrs Maywald says, with the
storages nearing empty, irrigation allocations will depend solely on the winter
and spring rainfall.
The Murray-Darling basin covers an area of more than
one million square kilometres, and includes 75% of all irrigated crops and
grassland in Australia. About 70% of all water used for agriculture in the basin
is used for irrigation.
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