THE much anticipated round two of the Water for Fodder program has been put on hold by the federal government, despite a review finding the scheme "succeeded" in helping farmers.
The first round of the program proved 50 megalitres of South Australian water at a just $100 a megalitre to 800 farmers in the southern basin, provided they grew fodder.
In exchange for the 100 gigalitres of water, provided over two rounds, the federal government promised to contributed $100 million to South Australia's desalination plant.
However, a decision on round two will not be made until after the winter and spring flows, which will reveal what water availability will be like for this financial year.
A review of the program conducted in two parts, with an independent analysis and a stakeholder feedback report.
Water Minister Keith Pitt said 68 per cent of respondents support the program and 84 per cent of those who participated in round one said they would apply again if they had the opportunity.
"We helped those farm businesses during a difficult period of water shortages," Mr Pitt said.
"However, the independent technical review found that while the water supply situation for South Australia will develop over the water year, it will not be until after winter and some spring inflows that actual water availability for the 2020-21 water year will be more clearly known.
"I intend to work and consult closely with South Australia on the future of the program."
South Australia's promised $100m is also on hold, as the money will only be provided upon the completion of round two.
South Australian Water Minister David Speirs said the program was another example of federal and state governments working together.
"The Water for Fodder program was an historic agreement between the Australian and South Australian governments to use Adelaide's Desalination Plant to support drought-affected farmers in a great time of need," Mr Speirs said.
"As we have always said we would review the program before commencing the second round to assess water availability across the Murray-Darling Basin, the impacts of different water dependent industries and to protect South Australia's water security.
"The South Australian Government looks forward to working with the Australian Government as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder to support farmers across the country who are doing it tough."
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The story Water for Fodder round two on hold despite govt claiming success first appeared on North Queensland Register.