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Environmental water holdings

Water is recovered by the Australian Government through a combination of investments in water-saving infrastructure, water purchases and other water recovery programs. This water becomes part of the Commonwealth's environmental water holdings.

The following table provides details of the Commonwealth environmental water holdings.

Holdings at 31 August 2014 *
River System Security Registered
entitlements 1,2,3,4(ML)
Long Term Average Annual Yield (ML)5
Queensland
Border Rivers High - -
Medium 13,795 4,666
Unsupplemented 4,474 1,843
Condamine Balonne Unsupplemented 57,343 40,218
Moonie Unsupplemented 1,415 1,100
Nebine Unsupplemented 5,920 1,000
St George Medium 45 43
Warrego Unsupplemented 16,050 8,000
Total QLD High - -
Medium 13,840 4,708
Unsupplemented 85,202 52,161
New South Wales
Barwon-Darling Unregulated 22,275 22,275
Border Rivers High - -
General 420 168
Gwydir High 375 375
General 89,525 32,229
Supplementary 19,100 3,629
Lachlan High 933 933
General 86,923 36,508
Lower Darling High 397 333
General 795 644
Macquarie/Cudgegong High - -
General 122,868 51,605
Supplementary 6,292 1,321
Murray High 15,165 14,407
General 326,662 264,596
Conveyance 1,860 1,458
Supplementary 211 155
Groundwater 1,244 1,244
Unregulated 276 218
Murrumbidgee High 5,275 5,011
General 212,243 135,835
Conveyance 14,983 14,234
Supplementary 20,820 2,915
Supplementary (Lowbidgee) 381,000 172,974
Groundwater 29 29
Unregulated 164 110
Namoi (upper) High - -
General 105 81
Namoi (lower) High - -
General 7,322 5,638
Peel General 1,126 292
Warrego Unregulated 17,826 17,826
Total NSW High 22,145 21,058
General 847,989 527,595
Conveyance 16,843 15,692
Supplementary 427,423 180,994
Unregulated 40,541 40,429
Groundwater 1,273 1,273
Victoria
Broken High 117 111
Low 4 3
Campaspe High 6,547 6,219
Low 395 194
Goulburn High 242,740 230,198
Low 22,379 9,462
Loddon High 2,870 2,726
Low 527 142
Murray High 285,627 271,613
Low 20,117 7,337
Ovens High 70 67
Wimmera-Mallee Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
Total Victoria High

537,970

510,933
Low 43,423 17,138
Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
South Australia
Murray High 119,063 107,156
Total SA High 119,063 107,156
Total Murray-Darling Basin
  High 679,178 639,148
  General/Medium/Low 905,252 549,422
  Conveyance 16,843 15,692
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 427,423 180,994
  Unsupplemented/Unregulated4 125,743 92,590
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
GRAND TOTAL   2,183,712 1,501,707
 
Southern Connected Basin6
  High 677,653 637,636
  General/Low 583,119 418,201
  Conveyance 16,843 15,692
  Supplementary 21,031 3,070
TOTAL   1,298,645 1,074,608
Non-Southern Connected Basin
  High 1,525 1,513
  General/Medium/Low 322,133 131,231
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 406,392 177,924
  Unregulated/Unsupplemented4 125,743 92,590
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
TOTAL   885,066 427,099
*All figures are rounded to the nearest megalitre (ML)

Notes:

  1. Formal transfer of ownership to the Commonwealth takes place on registration of the entitlement by the relevant State water authority. The entitlement becomes part of the Commonwealth environmental water holdings at that time.
  2. Registration can occur a number of months after the exchange of contract, so the amount in the holdings differs from the volume of entitlements secured under contract through the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin program and the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure program.
  3. Allocations of water against entitlements held in regulated systems are made periodically and will depend on factors including seasonal inflows and rules associated with water held in storages.
  4. Unsupplemented and unregulated entitlement figures represent the annual volumetric limit of water that may be available when licence conditions are met. Where the licence conditions specify the annual volumetric limit as a maximum volume of water that may be accessed in a multi-year period, the entitlement volume reported reflects the average annual volumetric limit available.
  5. All average annual yield figures in this table are calculated using the Department of the Environment estimates of the long term average annual yield for each entitlement. It was advised in the Murray-Darling Basin Ministers' Communiqué of 4 November 2011 that these would be used to determine how much of the 'gap' between the Baseline Diversion Limit (BDL) and the Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDL) has been 'bridged' through purchase and infrastructure projects.
  6. Southern Connected Basin entitlements include Murrumbidgee, Murray, Lower Darling, Goulburn, Campaspe (excluding Coliban) and Loddon titles.