Locals say the River Murray ecosystem is looking strong. 

South Australian River Murray water users will begin the 2024-25 financial year with a full 100 per cent allocation. 

A recent announcement marks the fourth consecutive year that local irrigators will enjoy full water allocations, largely due to above-average rainfall and inflows across the Murray-Darling Basin over the past year.

Under the River Murray Water Allocation Plan, irrigators are not permitted to carry over unused water from the previous year since the projected minimum opening allocation exceeds 50 per cent.

Sue Hutchings, Acting Executive Director Water and River Murray at the Department for Environment and Water (DEW), says that this full opening entitlement is positive news for river communities. 

“It is encouraging for our irrigators to go into another water year with the confidence of having full allocations available to them,” Ms Hutchings said.

To assist irrigators in managing their water, the state government says the online SA River Murray Water Calculator is available. 

“The calculator can help you work out how much water you could have under different scenarios, so you can plan for the season ahead. The interactive nature of the calculator means you can explore any scenario you choose, not just those presented in the allocation statements,” Ms Hutchings said.

The River Murray ecosystem is showing signs of recovery following the major floods of late 2022 and early 2023, bringing renewed life to the Riverland. 

However, residents will face some unpleasant odours and unattractive-looking water as flows from the Murray-Darling Basin reach the region this week.

According to Chrissie Bloss, Manager for Water Delivery at DEW, the noticeable algae is a non-toxic species and does not pose a threat to the river's ecosystems. 

“At this stage, we think the worst problem is that it’s not going to look very nice,” she told the ABC. 

“It’s the best time of year to have it come through and it is aligned with a natural movement of water from the northern basin.”

While the algae can deplete oxygen in the water, affecting fish, the authorities say current oxygen levels in the river remain within a healthy range. 

However, a warning remains in place for Lake Alexandrina, including Goolwa, due to continued elevated levels of potentially harmful blue-green algae detected in water samples by SA Health earlier in June.

Local rangers say the flood has had a rejuvenating effect on local wildlife, prompting the return of species not seen in the Riverland for 25 years.