Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
Update prepared: 14 March 2013
Photo by Stephanie Secomb © CEWO
This portfolio management statement outlines the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office's (CEWO) current approach to the use, carryover and trade of Commonwealth environmental water in the Lachlan catchment for the remainder of the 2012-13 water year.
This statement will continue to be updated as the approach to portfolio management is adjusted in response to actual seasonal conditions. The next routine update is anticipated around June/July 2013, however further updates may be released in response to a significant change in circumstances.
Recent Water Availability: The Lachlan catchment commenced 2012-13 with a very high level of water availability following a large flood event. State Water reset general security accounts to 136% of entitlement in March 2012. Wyangala Dam has been drawn down somewhat over summer and is now at approximately 80% of capacity. While high security entitlements received an opening allocation of 100%, no general security allocations have been announced in 2012-13 to date.
|Entitlement type||Entitlement Held (GL)||Carryover from 2011-12 (GL)||New Allocations in 2012-13 (GL)||Estimated water that has been delivered in 2012-13 (GL)||Current Commonwealth allocations (GL)|
- Slight discrepancies may exist due to rounding.
- Lachlan (High Security), maximum allocation balance of 100%, no carryover.
- Lachlan (General Security), maximum allocation balance at any time of 200%, maximum carryover of 200%, maximum annual use of 100%.
- Limits are expressed as a percentage of the entitlement held.
Commonwealth environmental water availablity and use in 2012-13 (up to 28 February 2013)
Including the opening high security allocation, CEWO commenced the year with 117 GL of allocations within its account. No additional allocations have been received at the time of this Statement's preparation. Taken together, the volume of water available to CEWO, and to most entitlement holders in the Lachlan, is significantly higher than the long-term average.
Environmental watering commenced at the end of October with the delivery of approximately 200 ML to support a colonial bird nesting event in the Booligal wetlands. Overall, seasonal conditions have meant a low demand for use of Commonwealth environmental water, as rules in the Water Sharing Plan for the Lachlan Regulated River provided for passing some inflows through Wyangala Dam. This only occurs in years in which 250 GL have entered Wyangala Dam commencing from 1 January each year.
Anticipated water availability and use in remainder of in 2012-13 (post February 2013)
The announcement of any additional allocations is subject to the NSW Office of Water's considerations regarding dam inflows and other factors. CEWO is not anticipating receiving any significant allocations for the remainder of 2012-13.
Localised rainfall in the lower Lachlan River region in late February 2013 has raised the possibility of bringing forward to May an environmental watering action planned for early 2013-14. While planning for this action is still underway, it would involve using up to 70 GL of Commonwealth environmental water to inundate the Lower Lachlan Swamps with the objective of building on improvements to the condition of vegetation that were observed following floods in 2012.
Further information on environmental water use in the Lachlan is available at Lachlan catchment.
Trade in 2012-13
The Commonwealth Water Act 2007 allows for the trade of Commonwealth environmental water (allocations and entitlements) and specifies the conditions under which any sales may occur. No Commonwealth environmental water has been traded this year in the Lachlan. Trade of allocation by other water market participants increased significantly through spring and into summer, though prices have remained low relative to many previous years.
CEWO is not intending to trade allocations or permanent entitlement in the Lachlan over the remainder of 2012-13. Further, CEWO does not intend to trade anywhere until it has addressed matters arising from the making of the Basin Plan and issues that were raised in recent consultation with industry groups. These include implementing protocols to address concerns about the potential for insider trading.
All intentions are largely unchanged from those expressed in the Statement released in December 2012 and further information would be made widely available should they change.
Carryover of Commonwealth environmental water into 2013-14
Between 46 GL and 116 GL of Commonwealth environmental water is forecast to be carried over into 2013-14, depending on the volume of water delivered for environmental purposes in the remainder of 2012-13. These figures assume that accounts are not reset due to dam spills. Allocation carried over will be available for environmental watering in the Lachlan catchment in 2013-14, for which options and plans are currently being developed.
Carryover can be used to implement environmental water options from early 2013-14. Further information about carryover of Commonwealth environmental water can be found at Information on carryover.
Proportion of Lachlan irrigation entitlements held by Commonwealth (by total long-term average annual yield)
Regulated Commonwealth environmental water allocations as a proportion of Lachlan's major storage capacity