Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
Update prepared: 14 March 2013
Murrumbidgee River catchment
Photo by Simon Banks © 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 Murrumbidgee 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: Water availability in the Murrumbidgee catchment is high. Allocations to general and high security entitlements are at 100%. Burrinjuck Dam is at approximately 38% of capacity and Blowering Dam is at approximately 61% of capacity.
|Entitlement type||Entitlement Held (GL)||Carryover from 2011-12 (GL)||New allocations in 2012-13 (GL)||Allocation transferred for delivery in 2012-13 (GL)||Current Commonwealth allocations (GL)||Anticipated carryover to 2013-14(GL)|
|Murrumbidgee (High Security)||1.8||0.0||1.6||1.5||0.1||0.0|
|Murrumbidgee (General Security)||175.2||24.3||139.0||117.8||45.5||0.0-46.0|
|Murrumbidgee (Supplementary)||20.8||0.0||Up to 20.8 GL, subject to annoucement||0.62||Up to 20.2 GL, subject to annoucement||0.0|
|Total - Murrumbidgee||204.3||24.3||146.9-167.7||126.3||45.6-65.8||0.0-250.0|
|Total – Southern Connected Basin3||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.
- 20.8 GL of supplementary allocation has been transferred to a delivery partner for opportunistic use, however only 0.6 GL has been delivered to date.
- 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)
171 GL of carryover and new regulated allocations have been made available to CEWO entitlements within the Murrumbidgee in 2012-13. A further 1 GL of supplementary allocation has been taken following supplementary access being made available by the NSW Office of Water.
156 GL of Commonwealth environmental water has been delivered to support the recruitment of native fish in the Murrumbidgee River, and to support and rehabilitate wetland communities on the western edge of the Lowbidgee floodplain. This environmental water came from regulated and supplementary Murrumbidgee allocations, and around a net 30 GL of allocations transferred from the Murray.
Anticipated water availability and use in remainder of 2012-13 (post 28 February 2013)
The Commonwealth environmental water holdings in the Southern Connected Basin are managed on a system-wide basis and available water may be transferred between catchments to meet environmental needs. However, the Murrumbidgee water sharing plan prohibits the trade of water allocations to or from the Murrumbidgee after 31 January in each water year.
Within the Murrumbidgee, 46 GL of regulated allocation is currently held and a further 20 GL of supplementary allocation may be taken subject to supplementary access being made available by the NSW Office of Water. CEWO is not anticipating receiving any additional regulated allocations for the remainder of 2012-13.
CEWO may conduct further environmental watering in the Murrumbidgee in 2012-13, subject to seasonal and operational considerations. Options for environmental watering are at an early stage of planning.
Additional information on environmental water use options 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 Murrumbidgee. 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 Murrumbidgee 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 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, with up to 46 GL likely to be held in the Murrumbidgee. 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 at Information on carryover.
Proportion of Murumbidgee irrigation entitlements held by Commonwealth (by total long-term average annual yield)
Regulated Commonwealth allocations in the Murrumbidgee as a proportion of major storage capacity