Zero Allocations Announced at Start of 2009/10 Season

Announcement Date: 1 Jul 2009
Next Announcement Due: 15 Jul 2009

Determination Data

Seasonal determinations for northern Victoria regulated river systems.

  High Reliability Water Share Change to High Reliability Water Share Comments
Murray 0% % -
Broken 0% % -
Goulburn 0% % -
Campaspe 0% % -
Loddon 0% % -
Bullarook Creek 0% % -

Further Information

Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW), Resource Manager for northern Victorian water systems, today announced the 2009/10 season will start with zero allocations for all systems.

Graeme Hannan, Resource Manager with G-MW, confirmed northern Victoria was facing another year with low water reserves and allocations dependent on inflows in winter and spring. The poor start to the 2009/10 season was expected, given the water shortage and record low allocations of the 2008/09 season and only minor improvements to water availability have occurred through May and June.

"The water systems have enough water to supply essential human needs, but further inflows are needed to meet system operating requirements. Allocations will be made when there is enough water to meet the operating requirements to deliver the water available under the qualifications of rights and allocation carried over from last season," said Mr Hannan.

"The rainfall over recent weeks has helped wet the catchments, but hasn't generated much inflow," said Mr Hannan. "More consistent rainfall will go some way to creating the runoff normally expected in July, August and September."

Qualification of Rights

The Minister for Water has qualified rights to water to allow for the supply of essential human needs and stock watering through the extreme conditions affecting northern Victorian water systems. The water corporations responsible for rural deliveries, including G-MW and Lower Murray Water, will run advertisements in local media summarising the purpose of the qualifications. Further details are available on the G-MW website (

Access to Carryover

"Customers can access their carryover allocation when the delivery system is operational in their area. This will only happen when the water corporations have covered the system operating requirements for the area and developed operating plans for the delivery systems," said Mr Hannan. "At present, there is not enough water to guarantee that all river systems, piped supply systems and the channel systems will operate for the entire season. Irrigators with early season requirements need to confirm the operating arrangements with their local water corporation."

"The water resources of the Murray system are administered by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Under a tri-State water sharing agreement struck before the new season, each State has been allocated a volume of water equivalent to 80% of the carryover in each State from the resource assessment made in late June. This allocation to the States will be progressively updated as the available resources improve with inflows from late June onwards. It is expected that allocations to the States will improve prior to any significant irrigation demand in Victoria. The resource improvement will be monitored closely, as will any usage and early trade, and updates on the availability of water and the operating conditions will be provided with each allocation announcement."

Irrigation Season

"It is not yet possible to confirm that the gravity channel networks will be operational on 15 August 2009," said Mr Hannan. "Large volumes of inflow are still needed to close the gap on system operating needs. The opening date will be decided by water resource availability and customer demand."

G-MW is preparing operating plans to supply essential human needs and provide access to the river and channel delivery systems for as long as possible.