Thursday, September 12, 2002. Posted: 09:09:02 (AEDT)

Water price skyrockets as drought hits hard

A water trader in New South Wales's south-west has expressed concern about the skyrocketing prices of water, which yesterday hit $200 a megalitre.

Finley trader Gil Silbey says at this time last year, prices averaged $40 a megalitre for temporary transfer water.

Mr Gilbey says dairy farmers and irrigators are desperate for more water to keep fodder and winter crops going.

"Murray Irrigation Limited Water Exchange, today it hit $200 dollars for very small quantities," he said.

"So it's been steadily rising, but oh look, it's a worry.

"As a long term business person about the place, I'd rather be selling it for $40 or $50 and knowing we were all better off long-term."

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