Opening seasonal determinations and risk of spill assessment for 2016/17

Friday 1 July, 2016

The Resource Manager for northern Victoria today announced the first 2016/17 seasonal determination, an updated outlook, and the first risk of spill assessments for the new water year.

The Murray system starts 2016/17 with a seasonal determination of one per cent of high-reliability water shares (HRWS) and the Goulburn system starts with eight per cent HRWS. 

The Broken, Campaspe, Loddon and Bullarook systems start 2016/17 on zero per cent HRWS.

Resource Manager Mark Bailey said recent rainfall was greatly helping water resource availability across northern Victoria after two years of well below average rainfall and inflows.

“The catchments are wetter and water is running into the major storages,” Dr Bailey said. “The Murray and Goulburn seasonal determinations are a result of the rain and operating reserves established last season.

“Even without a seasonal determination, carried over allocation can be delivered in the Broken, Campaspe, Loddon and Bullarook systems for now,” Dr Bailey said. “But continued dry conditions will potentially affect the ability to deliver the carryover through entire water year.

“The pleasing news is that all of the catchments are now much more responsive to rain. Continued wet weather is required to improve water storage volumes and contribute to increasing seasonal determinations.”

Dr Bailey welcomed the recent end of the El Niño event that caused very dry weather conditions through much of 2015/16.

“The latest Bureau of Meteorology seasonal outlook favours above-average rainfall across all of northern Victoria,” Dr Bailey said. “The Bureau also has a watch current for a La Niña event, which typically brings above-average winter and spring rainfall across northern, central and eastern Australia.

“While the outlook is encouraging, the rain is yet to fall and the water is yet to reach the storages. 

Dr Bailey advised entitlement holders to use the seasonal determination outlooks and weather information when planning their water needs in 2016/17.

The seasonal determinations for northern Victorian water systems on Friday, July 1 are:

Seasonal Determination

Risk of spill assessment for the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems

The Resource Manager declared a low risk of spill in the Goulburn system with the risk assessed to be below the 10 per cent threshold needed for declaration.

The risk of spill in the Murray system is about 20 per cent and the risk of spill in the Campaspe system is about 15 per cent. Neither system is declared at this time.

Trading Opportunities

Allocation trade applications will start to be processed from 10.00 am on 8 July 2016 once the Victorian Water Register opens for the new water year.

There is 200 GL of trade opportunity from New South Wales to Victoria as this allocation trade opportunity is reset on July 1. Allocation trade from New South Wales to Victoria is limited to the lesser of a net annual volume of 200 GL or a volume that keeps the risk of spill in the Murray system below 50 per cent.

Trading opportunities from New South Wales to Victoria are next updated on July 15, 2016.

The Goulburn system’s inter-valley trade (IVT) account now owes about 75 GL to the Murray system. The Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems can trade to the Victorian Murray system, New South Wales and South Australia while the total volume owed to the Murray system is less than 200 GL.

The Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems can trade from the Victorian Murray system, New South Wales and South Australia while the total volume owed to the Murray system is greater than zero.

Back trade into the Campaspe and Loddon systems is possible when their respective IVT accounts owe water to the Goulburn system. The Resource Manager for the Goulburn system can reserve some of the water owed from the Campaspe and Loddon systems to manage delivery constraints. If this is needed, it will reduce the trade opportunity into these systems.

Trade from the Broken system re-opens on July 1 each year and is allowed when the Broken system’s IVT account owes less than 1,500 ML to the Goulburn system. The opening balance of the Broken IVT will be about 700 ML. This opening balance is higher than previous year’s and means that there will be the opportunity to trade into the Broken at the start of the season.

Customers participating in the water trading market can monitor trade availability on the Water Register website from July 8, 2016 when the Water Register reopens.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has announced that trading of water allocations from above the Barmah Choke to downstream of the Choke is restricted to protect the delivery of downstream water entitlements. Customers can monitor trading opportunities across the Barmah Choke on the MDBA website.

Upcoming Resource Manager Announcements

  • The next risk of spill in the Murray system will be issued on Monday July 11, 2016
  • The next 2016/17 seasonal determination announcement will be released on Friday July 15, 2016 and will include an updated outlook.