Water Week

EWN Publishing

Low flows make the rule-change possible: NSW-Vic water-trading at Barmah Choke on the Murray River

Posted by waterweek on 9 October 2007

Extra water was now flowing downstream of the Barmah Choke on the Murray River, following a decision by the Victorian and NSW governments to allow water trade across the natural barrier. It allows water in the upstream section to be available on the market to downstream buyers. Trade constraints were being lifted because of the continuing dry seasonal conditions, low irrigation allocations and spare capacity in the Choke. Victorian Water Minister, Tim Holding, said the two governments agreed to lift normal constraints on water trade on the Barmah Choke following a request from the Murray-Darling Basin Commission to allow limited trade in water allocations below the Choke.

Low flows make the rule-change possible: The Barmah Choke was a narrow section of the River Murray, upstream of Echuca, where flow was limited in a normal season.Trading rules normally prevent trade downstream so that demand downstream of the Choke does not exceed its delivery capacity.Holding said the rules provide greater flexibility and opportunities for irrigators. This opening up of trade gives some buyers and sellers access to a broader market and will help some irrigators to manage through these difficult times, Holding said.



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