Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
Border Rivers catchment
The following portfolio management statement is intended to provide guidance on the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office's potential approach to portfolio management in the Border Rivers catchment (NSW and QLD) in 2012-13. This statement will be updated during the year as the approach to portfolio management is adjusted in response to actual seasonal conditions. The next routine update is anticipated in November 2012, however, further updates may be released in response to a significant change in circumstances.
Date issued: 07 September 2012
Recent Water Availability
The Border Rivers catchment experienced high levels of water availability in 2011-12. Pindari, Glenlyon and Coolmunda Dams are at 92, 98 and 61 per cent capacity respectively.
|Entitlement type||Entitlement Held (GL)||Entitlement Held – Long-term Average Annual Yield (GL)||Carryover from 2011-12 (GL)||Water Available (GL)||Forecast Maximum Water Available in 2012-13(GL)|
|NSW Border Rivers (General Security B)||0.3||0.1||0.3||0.3||0.3|
|QLD Border Rivers (Medium Security)||10.4||3.4||8.9||8.9||10.4|
|QLD Macintyre Brook (Medium Security)||0.2||0.2||0.0||0.2||0.2|
|QLD Border Rivers (Unsupplemented)#||1.0||0.5||0.0||-||-|
Note: In accordance with the Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Border Rivers Regulated River Water Source 2009 (NSW) and the Border Rivers Resource Operations Plan 2008 (QLD):
- NSW Border Rivers (General security) account balance, carryover and use limited to 100 per cent of the entitlement held.
- QLD Border Rivers (Medium security) account balance and carryover limited to 85 per cent of the nominal volume. Water may be delivered or sold prior to an allocation announcement to free account space to receive further allocations up to the use limit of 100 per cent of the nominal volume.
- Macintyre Brook (Medium Security) account balance and use limited to 100 per cent of the entitlement held. Carryover limited to 445 ML (based on share of dam).
# Availability of unsupplemented water is subject to announcement.
Commonwealth environmental water available in 2012-13
The opening balance of regulated allocation in 2012-13 was 9.4 GL. The total volume of regulated allocation that could be available for use in 2012- 13 is 10.9 GL, depending on inflows. Up to 1.5 GL of unsupplemented access during the year may be available under high to moderate inflows.
These allocations are significantly higher than the long-term average, which means that the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office has, like all other entitlement holders, substantial volumes of water available.
Allocation water can be used, traded or carried over to subsequent years depending on the nature of the source entitlement and the legal framework which applies to the management of Commonwealth environmental water.
Water use options in 2012-13
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office has identified water use options for all water available to it in 2012-13 (10.9 GL), subject to seasonal and operational considerations. Further information on environmental water use options in the Border Rivers is available on Annual Water Use Options 2012-13: Border Rivers Valley
Trade in 2012-13
The Water Act 2007 provides for the trade of Commonwealth environmental water (allocations and entitlements) and specifies the conditions under which sales may occur. The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office does not currently plan to sell allocations (seasonal water assignments in QLD) in the Border Rivers catchment in 2012-13. The sale of allocations is accounted for as use and in most scenarios the delivery of environmental water is expected to fully consume the available use limit. If less environmental water is used than currently planned due to natural flows meeting environmental needs then the potential to sell allocations will be reassessed. However, it is anticipated that in this situation market conditions are likely to be unfavourable for the sale of allocation.
Purchase of additional allocations could be pursued to assist in meeting environmental demands if inflows are moderate or low. However, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office needs to generate revenue from water sales in order to purchase water allocations (this has not yet occurred). Furthermore, any allocation purchase would be subject to a comparative analysis with other potential purchase options across the Murray-Darling Basin.
Occurrence, timing and volumes of trade would be informed by market conditions. Commonwealth Environmental Water Office would provide further information to the water market prior to undertaking any trading action.
Carryover into 2013-14
The volume of regulated allocation carried over to 2013-14 is subject to many factors, including the volume used, traded or received via new allocation announcements during 2012-13, and any additional entitlements that enter the Commonwealth's holdings. Depending on the interplay of these factors, the volume that the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office forecasts to be available at the beginning of 2013-14 varies from zero to the maximum carryover limit. The opening balance will tend to be lower in drier inflow scenarios. This forecast will be refined over the course of the water year in subsequent portfolio management statements.
Proportion of Border Rivers irrigation entitlements held by Commonwealth (by total long-term average annual yield)
Carryover of Commonwealth environmental water as a proportion of Border Rivers's major storage capacity