2012/13 Risk of Spill Announcements

10 January 2013 - Declaration of Low Risk of Spill for Murray System

The Resource Manager for northern Victorian regulated water systems today announced that water held in spillable water accounts (SWAs) in the Murray system is now available for use or trade following the declaration of a low risk of spill.

"Releases from the Victorian share of Lake Hume during December have created enough capacity to capture any spill releases coming from Dartmouth Reservoir, including the current pre-releases," said Dr Mark Bailey, Resource Manager. "The availability of this capacity has enabled the declaration of a low risk of spill for the Murray system, which will return water in SWAs to Allocation Bank Accounts for entitlement holders to use or trade."

"The risk of spill is considered to be low when the probability of filling during the remainder of the season is less than 1 chance in 10," explained Dr Bailey. "This is a statistical assessment, which means it is still possible for Victoria's shares of Dartmouth Reservoir and Lake Hume to fill later this season. Customer accounts will not be affected should this happen. However, we must be clear that today's declaration is about the availability of allocated water resources and not a statement about the potential for flooding this season."

All spillable water is now available in entitlement holders' accounts to use or trade during the rest of the season. Murray entitlement holders can carry over any unused water at the end of this season now that the Minister for Water has deferred the new cap on carryover on the Murray system until 2014.

The limits on allocation trade from New South Wales to Victoria, announced by the Minister for Water in November 2012, come into effect today. Net trade from New South Wales to Victoria is subject to a 200 GL annual limit, which is still largely available. The limits can be tracked at http://waterregister.vic.gov.au/Public/Reports/InterValley.aspx. The Resource Manager will review the spill risk limit monthly and make the next announcement on 15 February 2013.

More information on the carryover arrangement for Murray entitlement holders and the limits on allocation trade can be found at http://waterregister.com.au/.

10 December 2012 - Declaration of Low Risk of Spill for Goulburn and Campaspe Systems

The Resource Manager for northern Victorian regulated water systems today announced that water held in spillable water accounts (SWAs) in the Goulburn and Campaspe systems is now available for use or trade following the declaration of a low risk of spill in these two systems. There is no change to the risk of spill in the Murray system.

"Similar to this time last season, the combined effect of decreasing inflows and increased releases from Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock over the last month has been enough to confirm that there is now a low risk of spill in the remainder of this season in the Goulburn and Campaspe systems," said Dr Mark Bailey, Resource Manager. "Water share holders who have water in SWAs will have the remaining balance of their SWAs returned to their Allocation Bank Accounts for immediate use or trade."

In the Murray system, about 20,000 ML spilled from Victoria's share of Murray resources in November, which will cause the volume held in Murray spillable water accounts to be reduced by about 1.7%. The risk has continued to decrease in the Murray system in the month since the previous announcement. Depending on weather conditions and the demand for water from Lake Hume, the declaration threshold may be crossed in early 2013.

"The risk of spill is considered to be low when the probability of filling during the remainder of the season is less than 1 chance in 10," explained Dr Bailey. "This is a statistical assessment, which means it is still possible for Lake Eildon or Lake Eppalock to fill later this season. Customer accounts will not be affected should this happen. However, we must be clear that today's declaration is about the availability of allocated water resources and not a statement about the potential for flooding this season."

12 November 2012 - No Change to Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe Risk of Spill

The Resource Manager for northern Victorian regulated water systems today confirmed that there is no change to the risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems in November.

"The Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems are still at risk of spill," said Dr Mark Bailey, Resource Manager. "The risk in each system remains greater than 10%, which is the threshold for making a declaration that would return water quarantined in spillable water accounts to allocation bank accounts."

"Both Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock are holding more than 95% of capacity, and the possibility of these storages spilling again this season still exists. The pre-releases that are currently occurring from Dartmouth Reservoir are being treated as a spill when they cannot be harvested in Lake Hume. About 19,000 ML spilled from Victoria's share of Murray resources in October, which will cause the volume held in Murray spillable water accounts to be reduced by about 1.6%" said Dr Bailey. "Customers with spillable water accounts in the Goulburn and Campaspe systems have lost proportionally higher volumes because of the greater volumes of spill in those systems, although the actual volume for each customer varies according to the volume of carryover held by the customer relative to their total water shares.

Although still above the 10% threshold, the risk has decreased in all three systems in the month since the previous announcement. Depending on weather conditions and the demand for water from the storages, the declaration threshold may be crossed as early as December or possibly in early 2013. Water share holders are reminded that water in spillable water accounts is not available until the low risk of spill declaration is made by the Resource Manager. Water share holders are advised to plan their water use requirements accordingly.

10 October 2012 - No Change to Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe Risk of Spill

The Resource Manager for northern Victorian regulated water systems today confirmed that there will be no change to the risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems in October.

"A declaration of a low risk of spill for any of the three systems is not possible in October," said Dr Mark Bailey, Resource Manager. "The risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems during 2012/13 remains greater than 10%, which is the threshold for making a declaration that would return water quarantined in spillable water accounts to allocation bank accounts."

"About 410,000 ML has been discharged from Lake Eildon under pre-release arrangements since 1 July 2012. The pre-releases are treated as a spill from the storage, which reduces the volumes held in spillable water accounts. Volumes in the Goulburn inter-valley trade account with the Murray system and Living Murray entitlement accounts are also reduced by these pre-releases," said Dr Bailey. "With Lake Eildon approaching 100% of capacity, further pre-releases are possible in the next few weeks."

Lake Eppalock has spilled approximately 26,000 ML since filling in mid-August. Spills ceased during September, but the storage remains above 99% of capacity. Dartmouth Reservoir has not spilled during 2012/13, but is now holding more than 97% of capacity and is continuing to rise. The risk of spill at Lake Eppalock and Dartmouth Reservoir remains very high.

Water share holders should expect that water in spillable water accounts will not be available until the risk of spill reduces to less than 10%, which may not occur until late 2012 or early 2013. Water share holders are advised to plan their water use requirements accordingly.

10 September 2012 - No Change to Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe Risk of Spill

The Resource Manager for northern Victorian regulated water systems today confirmed that there will be no change to the risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems in September.

"A declaration of a low risk of spill for any of the three systems is not possible in September," said Dr Mark Bailey, Resource Manager. "The risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems during 2012/13 remains higher than 10%, which is the threshold for making a declaration that would return water quarantined in spillable water accounts to allocation bank accounts."

"Pre-releases from Lake Eildon in the Goulburn system continue. About 350,000 ML has been discharged from Lake Eildon under pre-release arrangements since 1 July 2012," said Dr Bailey. "The pre-releases are treated as a spill from the storage, which reduces the volumes held in spillable water accounts. Volumes in the Goulburn inter-valley trade account with the Murray system and Living Murray entitlement accounts are also reduced by these pre-releases."

Lake Eppalock filled to capacity and started to spill on 18 August 2012. Since Lake Eppalock filled, approximately 23,000 ML has spilled and releases above the minimum requirements are likely to continue for the next few weeks.

With Dartmouth Reservoir above 94% of capacity and continuing to rise the risk of spill remains very high in the Murray system.

Water share holders should expect that water in spillable water accounts may not be available until late 2012 or early 2013. Water share holders are advised to plan their early season water use requirements accordingly.

10 August 2012 - No Change to Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe Risk of Spill

The Resource Manager for northern Victorian regulated water systems today confirmed that there will be no change to the risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems in August.

"A declaration of a low risk of spill for any of the three systems is not possible in August," said Dr Mark Bailey, Resource Manager. "The risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems during 2012/13 remains higher than 10%, which is the threshold for a declaration that would return water quarantined in spillable water accounts to allocation bank accounts."

Pre-releases from Lake Eildon in the Goulburn system started in mid June in accordance with target filling procedures for the storage, and continued through July into the start of August. Pre-releases ceased on 10 August, but may resume if inflows to Lake Eildon increase.

"About 250,000 ML has been discharged from Lake Eildon under pre-release arrangements since 1 July 2012," said Dr Bailey. "The pre-releases are treated as a spill from the storage, which reduces the volumes held in spillable water accounts. Volumes in the Goulburn inter-valley trade account with the Murray system and Living Murray entitlement accounts are also reduced by the pre-releases."

With Dartmouth Reservoir and Lake Eppalock each above 90% of capacity, the risk of spill is very high in the Murray and Campaspe systems respectively. Decisions about the risk of spill in these systems will depend on inflows received over the remaining winter and spring months.

Water share holders should expect that water in spillable water accounts may not be available until late 2012 or early 2013. Water share holders are advised to plan their early season water use requirements accordingly.

10 July 2012 - No Change to Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe Risk of Spill

The Resource Manager for northern Victorian regulated water systems today confirmed that there will be no change to the risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems in July.

"A declaration of a low risk of spill for any of the three systems is not possible in July," said Dr Mark Bailey, Resource Manager. "The risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems during 2012/13 remains higher than 10%, which is the threshold for a declaration that would return water quarantined in spillable water accounts to allocation bank accounts. Pre-releases from Lake Eildon in the Goulburn system started in mid June in accordance with target filling procedures for the storage, and under current inflow conditions, will continue during July."

"About 65,000 ML has been discharged from Lake Eildon under pre-release arrangements since 1 July 2012," said Dr Bailey. "The pre-releases are treated as a spill from the storage, which reduces the volumes held in spillable water accounts. Volumes in the Goulburn inter-valley trade account with the Murray system and Living Murray entitlement accounts are also reduced by the pre-releases."

With Dartmouth Reservoir and Lake Eppalock each approaching 90% of capacity, the risk of spill is very high in the Murray and Campaspe systems respectively. Decisions about the risk of spill in these systems will depend on inflows received over the remaining winter and spring months.

Water share holders should expect that water in spillable water accounts may not be available until late 2012 or early 2013. Water share holders are advised to plan their early season water use requirements accordingly.