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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 December 2015*
River System Security Registered
entitlements 1,2,3,4(ML)
Long Term Average Annual Yield (ML)5
Queensland
Border Rivers High - -
Medium 15,540 5,241
Unsupplemented 11,218 4,452
Condamine Balonne Unsupplemented 62,213 43,769
Overland Flow 23,169 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 15,585 5,284
Unsupplemented 96,816 58,321
Overland flow 23,169 10,015
New South Wales
Barwon-Darling Unregulated 24,279 24,279
Border Rivers High - -
General 420 168
Gwydir High 4,508 4,508
General 89,525 32,229
Supplementary 20,451 3,886
Lachlan High 933 933
General 86,923 36,508
Lower Darling High 421 353
General 1,034 838
Macquarie/Cudgegong High - -
General 126,224 53,014
Supplementary 8,292 1,741
Murray High 16,021 15,220
General 337,393 273,289
Conveyance 2,940 2,305
Supplementary 211 155
Groundwater 1,292 1,292
Unregulated 184 145
Murrumbidgee High 7,849 7,456
General 238,922 152,910
Conveyance 24,577 23,348
Supplementary 20,820 2,915
Supplementary (Lowbidgee) 381,000 172,974
Groundwater 886 886
Unregulated 164 110
Namoi (upper) High - -
General 105 81
Namoi (lower) High - -
General 8,512 6,554
Peel General 1,257 326
Warrego Unregulated 17,826 17,826
Total NSW High 29,731 28,470
General 890,315 555,915
Conveyance 27,517 25,653
Supplementary 430,774 181,671
Unregulated 42,453 42,360
Groundwater 2,178 2,178
Victoria
Broken High 253 240
Low 4 3
Campaspe High 6,547 6,219
Low 395 194
Goulburn High 275,979 261,552
Low 29,435 12,905
Loddon High 3,356 3,188
Low 527 142
Murray High 319,293 303,741
Low 25,489 10,125
Ovens High 70 67
Wimmera-Mallee Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
Total Victoria High 605,499 575,006
Low 55,851 23,369
Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
South Australia
Murray High 147,837 133,053
Total SA High 147,837 133,053
Total Murray-Darling Basin
  High 783,067 736,529
  General/Medium/Low 961,751 584,569
  Conveyance 27,517 25,623
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 430,774 181,671
  Unsupplemented/Unregulated4 139,269 100,682
  Overland Flow 23,169 10,015
  Groundwater 2,178 2,178
GRAND TOTAL   2,395,725 1,663,865
 
Southern Connected Basin6
  High 777,526 730,995
  General/Low 633,200 450,405
  Conveyance 27,517 25,653
  Supplementary 402,031 176,044
TOTAL   1,840,274 1,383,097
Non-Southern Connected Basin
  High 5,541 5,534
  General/Medium/Low 328,551 134,164
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 28,743 5,627
  Unregulated/Unsupplemented4 139,269 100,682
  Overland Flow 23,169 10,015
  Groundwater 2,178 2,178
TOTAL   555,451 280,768
*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-Broken, Campaspe (excluding Coliban) and Loddon titles.