Updated Seasonal Allocations Announced

Announcement Date: 2 Jan 2008
Next Announcement Due: 15 Jan 2008

Determination Data

Seasonal determinations for northern Victoria regulated river systems.

  High Reliability Water Share Change to High Reliability Water Share Comments
Murray 33% +5% -
Broken 48% +19% -
Goulburn 45% +6% -
Campaspe 10% +5% -
Loddon 5% 0% -
Bullarook Creek 0% 0% -

Further Information

Goulburn-Murray Water today increased seasonal allocations for the Goulburn, Murray, Broken and Campaspe systems. No increases were possible for the seasonal allocations in the Loddon and Bullarook Creek systems.

Much of northern Victoria received widespread significant rainfall in the week prior to Christmas. The rainfall depth and intensity was higher than usual for December, and produced greater than expected inflows to many of the key water systems and storages. The seasonal allocation improvements announced today are largely due to those inflows.

The seasonal allocation in the Goulburn system has increased by 6% to be 45% of high-reliability water shares.

The seasonal allocation in the Murray system is 33% of high-reliability water shares, an improvement of 5%.

The Broken system seasonal allocation has increased by 19% to be 48% of high-reliability water shares. Customers are reminded that the seasonal allocation will be reviewed if there is an outbreak of blue‑green algae in Lake Mokoan.

The Campaspe system seasonal allocation is 10% of high-reliability water shares, an increase of 5%. The resource improvement in Lake Eppalock during the past fortnight has removed the need for rostering of irrigation deliveries. However, all irrigation diversions must still be ordered to ensure ongoing efficient operation.

The seasonal allocation in the Loddon system remained at 5% of high-reliability water shares. Rosters for irrigation orders have been eased, but customers will still be required to lodge an order through WaterLINE prior to taking water.

There is no seasonal allocation in the Bullarook Creek system. Customers have access to water for qualified rights for the balance of the season.

Goulburn-Murray Water has forecast ranges for the final 2007/08 seasonal allocations. Using historic drought inflows as a guide to the most likely summer inflows, the possible range of allocations are:

  • 45% to 58% of high-reliability water shares in the Goulburn system
  • 33% to 39% of high-reliability water shares in the Murray system

The seasonal allocations will not fall below current levels for the rest of the season. However, allocations may improve under the influences of factors other than inflow, such as lower than planned evaporation rates and efficiency improvements in river and channel operations.

"The allocation increases arising from the rain on 21 December are a welcome bonus at this time of the year", said Garry Smith, Acting Managing Director of Goulburn-Murray Water. "The rainfall is quite unseasonal and irrigators cannot count on more large summer rain events to boost allocations.

I expect that irrigators will be carefully considering the best options for utilising the increase."

Carryover of unused allocations has been introduced as a permanent resource management measure. "The recent confirmation of carryover provisions allows irrigators to think about the use of carryover to manage the risks of low allocations next season", said Mr Smith. With Goulburn-Murray Water expecting all storages to be at very low levels by the end of this season and a high likelihood of zero allocations at the start of next season, customers are being strongly urged to implement measures such as carryover to deal with low water availability.

Water management into the 2008/09 season will be the focus of discussions with key Water Services Committee and industry representatives in early February. Goulburn-Murray Water has already announced that no allocations will be made after 1 April 2008 as a contingency measure, and further drought planning measures will be examined and discussed with industry representatives in February.