Process Management

News 140 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Despite rain Australia still in trouble

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.

Low capacity
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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