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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. For further information on the management of water holdings see:

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

Holdings at 31 March 2015*
River System Security Registered
entitlements 1,2,3,4(ML)
Long Term Average Annual Yield (ML)5
Queensland
Border Rivers High - -
Medium 15,427 5,204
Unsupplemented 6,689 2,700
Condamine Balonne Unsupplemented 61,680 43,401
Overland Flow 23,695 10,015
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 15,472 5,247
Unsupplemented 91,754 56,201
Overland flow 23,695 10,015
New South Wales
Barwon-Darling Unregulated 24,279 24,279
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 126,224 53,014
Supplementary 8,292 1,741
Murray High 15,537 14,760
General 327,705 265,441
Conveyance 1,860 1,458
Supplementary 211 155
Groundwater 1,244 1,244
Unregulated 184 145
Murrumbidgee High 6,629 6,297
General 229,854 147,106
Conveyance 17,074 16,220
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 1,257 326
Warrego Unregulated 17,826 17,826
Total NSW High 23,871 22,698
General 870,130 541,154
Conveyance 18,934 17,679
Supplementary 429,423 181,414
Unregulated 42,453 42,360
Groundwater 1,273 1,273
Victoria
Broken High 157 149
Low 4 3
Campaspe High 6,547 6,219
Low 395 194
Goulburn High 249,417 236,541
Low 22,379 9,462
Loddon High 3,024 2,872
Low 527 142
Murray High 292,502 278,145
Low 20,117 7,337
Ovens High 70 67
Wimmera-Mallee Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
Total Victoria High

551,717

523,993
Low 43,423 17,138
Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
South Australia
Murray High 129,348 116,413
Total SA High 129,348 116,413
Total Murray-Darling Basin
  High 704,937 663,105
  General/Medium/Low 929,025 563,539
  Conveyance 18,934 17,679
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 429,423 181,414
  Unsupplemented/Unregulated4 134,207 98,561
  Overland Flow 23,695 10,015
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
GRAND TOTAL   2,269,494 1,558,155
 
Southern Connected Basin6
  High 703,372 661,554
  General/Low 601,773 430,326
  Conveyance 18,934 17,679
  Supplementary 21,031 3,070
TOTAL   1,345,109 1,112,629
Non-Southern Connected Basin
  High 1,565 1,551
  General/Medium/Low 327,252 133,213
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 408,392 178,344
  Unregulated/Unsupplemented4 134,207 98,561
  Overland Flow 23,695 10,015
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
TOTAL   924,384 445,526
*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.