Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
Update prepared: 14 March 2013
Murray River in the Mid-Murray Region
Photo by Rebecca Gee © 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 Mid-Murray river valley for the remainder of the 2012-13 water year. The Mid-Murray river valley is defined in this statement as the Murray River between Hume Dam and the junction of the Murray and Darling rivers at Wentworth.
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: Water availability in the Mid-Murray is high. Allocations to NSW Murray general and high security entitlements are at 100%, as are those to Victorian Murray high reliability entitlements. However, Victorian low reliability entitlements have not received allocations. Hume Dam is at approximately 53% of capacity and Dartmouth Dam is at approximately 94% of capacity.
|Entitlement type||Entitlement Held (GL)||Carryover from 2011-12 (GL)||New allocations in 2012-13 (GL)2||Allocation transferred for delivery in 2012-13 (GL)||Current Commonwealth allocations (GL)||Anticipated carryover to 2013-14(GL)|
|NSW Murray (High Security)||8.6||0.0||2.7||2.7||0.0||0.0|
|NSW Murray (General Security)||280.8||33.1||253.5||166.4||120.2||0.0-92.0|
|NSW Murray (Other)||1.2||0.0||0.1||0.1||0.0||0.0|
|Victorian Murray (High Reliability)||242.0||153.7||231.1||232.4||152.4||0.0-92.0|
|Victorian Murray (Low Reliability)||11.8||10.8||6.5||0.0||17.3|
|Total – Mid-Murray Region||544.4||197.6||487.4||401.6||283.4||0.0-184|
|Total – Southern Connected Basin4||1,077.5||232.1||917.4-937.7||721.6||445.7-465.9||0.0-250.0|
- Slight discrepancies may exist due to rounding.
- Includes water made available from Victorian spillable water accounts.
- Consists of NSW Murray Supplementary, Unregulated and Groundwater.
- Southern Connected Basin includes the following hydrologically connected catchments: Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon, Murray (SA, Vic and NSW), Lower Darling and Murrumbidgee.
Commonwealth environmental water availablity and use in 2012-13 (up to 28 February 2013)
685 GL of carryover and new allocations have been made available to CEWO entitlements within the Mid-Murray in 2012-13. This includes 154 GL recently made available from Victorian spillable water accounts.
29 GL of allocation from Mid-Murray entitlements were utilised to conduct environmental watering within the Mid-Murray. The watering provided replenishment flows to ephemeral creeks and instream flows to support native fish populations within the Edward-Wakool system.
Commonwealth environmental water holdings are managed on a system-wide basis and available water may be transferred between catchments in the Southern Connected Basin to meet environmental needs. Reflecting this principle, a net 332 GL of allocation from Mid-Murray entitlements was transferred to achieve environmental objectives elsewhere.
Anticipated water availability and use in remainder of 2012-13 (post 28 February 2013)
At least 446 GL of Commonwealth environmental water is currently held in Mid-Murray accounts and elsewhere in the Southern Connected Basin. CEWO is not anticipating receiving any additional allocations for the remainder of 2012-13.
It is anticipated that one additional environmental watering action will be conducted in the Mid-Murray in 2012-13, which will involve delivering around 5 GL of water to Yallakool Creek and Colligen Creek in the Edward-Wakool system.
Additional information on environmental water use in the Southern Connected Basin is available at Southern catchments.
Trade in 2012-13
The Commonwealth Water Act 2007 provides for the trade of Commonwealth environmental water (allocations and entitlements) and specifies the conditions under which sales may occur. No Commonwealth environmental water has been traded this year in the Mid-Murray. Trade of allocations by other water users has been high in January. The volume and price of allocation traded by other water users throughout the Southern Connected Basin has trended up across the water year, with the total value of trade reaching a peak in January.
CEWO is not intending to trade allocations or permanent entitlement in the Mid-Murray 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
Based on currently available water and anticipated use, and taking into account State rules on transferring water, CEWO estimates that it will carryover up to 250 GL in the Southern Connected Basin, of which up to 184 GL might be in Mid-Murray accounts. The quantity actually carried over will largely depend on the volume of environmental watering that occurs in the remainder of 2012-13, which is subject to seasonal and operational considerations.
Carryover can be used to implement environmental water options from early 2013-14. Further information about carryover of Commonwealth environmental water can be found here: Information on carryover.
Proportion of Mid-Murray irrigation entitlements held by Commonwealth (by total long-term average annual yield)
Regulated Commonwealth allocations in the Mid-Murray as a proportion of major storage capacity