Opening seasonal determinations and risk of spill declaration for 2019/20

Monday 1 July, 2019

The Resource Manager for northern Victoria today announced the first 2019/20 seasonal determination, an updated outlook, and declared a low risk of spill in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems.

The Murray, Goulburn and Loddon systems all start 2019/20 with a seasonal determination of 2 per cent of high-reliability water shares (HRWS).

The Campaspe system starts 2019/20 with a seasonal determination of 26 per cent HRWS. The Bullarook system starts with 19 per cent HRWS.

The Broken system starts 2019/20 with 0 per cent HRWS.

Resource Manager Mark Bailey said opening seasonal determinations are lower than last season due to limited availability of reserves.

“The volumes available for allocation are lower than at this time last year,” Dr Bailey said.

“This is a direct result of the very dry conditions of the last two years. Storages have not refilled because rainfall runoff was less than the volumes used.”

Dr Bailey noted some recent improvement in catchment conditions had occurred. 

“The Northern Victorian catchments were very dry, but we have started to see a response to rain in recent weeks. This means we are more likely to see runoff entering the storages when rain falls. We need more rain to increase storage levels and the seasonal determinations," he said. 

“The latest Bureau of Meteorology seasonal outlook indicates below-average rainfall across all of northern Victoria is more likely during the July to September period. The Bureau also says the conditions in the Indian Ocean is likely to be the dominant climate driver through the southern winter.” 

Dr Bailey said more water was needed in the Broken system to ensure carried over allocation can be delivered throughout 2019/20.

“There is currently insufficient water to operate the Broken system for the entire 2019/20 season. Carried over allocation will be available early in the season. Resource improvements will increase the period of supply,” Dr Bailey said.

 Dr Bailey advised entitlement holders to use the seasonal determination outlooks and weather information when planning their water needs in 2019/20.

The risk of spill in each of the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems is below the 10 per cent threshold needed to declare a low risk of spill. Water held in spillable water accounts in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems will be made available for use or trade.

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

Water System High-Reliability Water Share Low-Reliability Water Share
Murray 2% 0%
Broken 0% 0%
Goulburn 2% 0%
Campaspe 26% 0%
Loddon 2% 0%
Bullarook 19% 0%

Trading opportunities

Allocation trade applications will start to be processed from 12:00 pm on July 1, 2019 when the Victorian Water Register opens for the new water year.

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. The current risk of spill in the Murray system allows 200 GL of net trade from New South Wales to Victoria.

The Goulburn system’s inter-valley trade (IVT) account owes about 148 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.

Trade from the Broken system re-opens at the start of each water year and is allowed when the Broken system’s IVT account owes less than 1,500 ML to the Goulburn system. The current balance of the IVT account is about 1,200 ML.

Customers participating in the water trading market can monitor trade availability on the Water Register website, from July 1 2019 when the Water Register reopens.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is restricting trade of water allocations from above the Barmah Choke to downstream of the Choke to protect the delivery of downstream water entitlements. Customers can monitor trading opportunities across the Barmah Choke on the Authority’s website Authority's website.

Upcoming Resource Manager announcements

  • The next 2019/20 seasonal determination announcement will be released on Monday 15 July 2019 and will include an updated outlook.