More flexibility in Water for Fodder program

15 April 2020

Restrictions on the carryover of Water for Fodder allocations will be lifted for participants in round one of this drought relief program. 

At the launch of the program, the department identified on its website that if drought conditions improve, we may waive restrictions on carryover of Water for Fodder allocations.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt made the decision following recent rain events and feedback from farmers participating in the program. 

“Under round one of the Water for Fodder program, the allocation received must be used in the water year in which it was allocated,” Minister Pitt said.

“That restriction was in place because we wanted farmers to use this water straight away to grow fodder in response to the drought.

“However, thanks to some good rains like 80 millilitres in Deniliquin in March, farmers told us they’d be able to produce more with the Water for Fodder allocation if they could carry it over into the 2020-21 water year. 

“This change gives more flexibility to those who received an allocation in round one’s ballot.

“This shows we are taking on-board feedback to make improvements to the Water for Fodder program.

“We’re considering feedback so we can maximise the potential of the program and make this water count for drought-affected farmers and Australian’s who rely on their produce.”

“I would like to thank South Australia for their assistance in providing the water for the program through the increased operation of their desalination plant."

The review into round one of the Water for Fodder program is currently underway and will be published here. The review will inform round two which opens later this year. 

Fast Facts:

  • Carryover of a Water for Fodder allocation into the next water year must be consistent with the conditions of an entitlement holder’s existing water account which are set by the relevant water authority.
  • Under round one of the Water for Fodder program, over 800 farmers in the Southern-connected Murray Darling Basin received 50 ML parcels of water.
  • A review of the program is informing development of round two, where up to 60 GL of water will be available subject to water availability in the Southern-connected Basin.