NEW water rules that will cap carry-over at 100 per cent of entitlement have met a mixed reaction from irrigators.
Many Murray irrigators have accepted the changes, which put an end to irrigators accumulating unrestricted amounts of carry-over water between seasons.
But The Weekly Times understands some large irrigators and young farmers who have bought land without water entitlements will be affected.
Victorian Water Minister Peter Walsh said the change would prevent "water hoarders" from carrying over unlimited amounts of water and return value to "those who pay for the system", entitlement holders.
The new cap will come into play from July 1 next year and according Mr Walsh will "better protect reliability of seasonal allocations against water holders' entitlements".
Entitlement holders would now by able to carry over only up to 100 per cent of their entitlement.
"The (consulting) committee had a variety of views but my view is we needed to return value to the entitlement holders, particularly to owning low-security water," he said.
"The Commonwealth owns a substantial amount of water in Victoria and we'd like to see them need to have a more balanced portfolio, and we need to show there is value in low-security entitlement."
Victorian Farmers Federation Water chairman Richard Anderson said most irrigators supported the carry-over cap, to protect the health of the river system.
"But my concern is about the transition period and if it is long enough for such a change," he said.
Depending on when a no-spill declaration was made and when carried-over water could be accessed, irrigators may not have enough time to make arrangements to use that water, he said.
Sunraysia Irrigators Council chairman Danny Lee said the move was a "step in the right direction" but not all irrigators would be happy.