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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 30 June 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 7,851 3,150
Condamine Balonne Unsupplemented 62,091 43,697
Overland Flow 23,169 10,015
Moonie Unsupplemented 1,415 1,000
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 93,327 56,947
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 397 333
General 795 644
Macquarie/Cudgegong High - -
General 126,224 53,014
Supplementary 8,292 1,741
Murray High 15,677 14,893
General 335,035 271,378
Conveyance 2,940 2,305
Supplementary 211 155
Groundwater 1,244 1,244
Unregulated 184 145
Murrumbidgee High 7,629 7,247
General 233,994 149,756
Conveyance 19,837 18,845
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 29,143 27,914
General 881,600 549,741
Conveyance 22,777 21,150
Supplementary 430,774  181,671
Unregulated 42,453 42,360
Groundwater 1,273 1,273
Victoria
Broken High 253 240
Low 4 3
Campaspe High 6,547 6,219
Low 395 194
Goulburn High 255,209 242,044
Low 22,379 9,462
Loddon High 3,356 3,188
Low 527 142
Murray High 297,836 283,213
Low 20,117 7,337
Ovens High 70 67
Wimmera-Mallee Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
Total Victoria High 563,272 534,970
Low 43,423 17,138
Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
South Australia
Murray High 134,110 120,699
Total SA High 134,110 120,699
Total Murray-Darling Basin
  High 726,526 683,583
  General/Medium/Low 940,608 572,164
  Conveyance 22,777 21,150
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 430,774 181,671
  Unsupplemented/Unregulated4 135,780 99,307
  Overland Flow 23,695 10,015
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
GRAND TOTAL   2,308,433 1,591,731
 
Southern Connected Basin6
  High 720,985 678,048
  General/Low 613,247 438,916
  Conveyance 22,777 21,150
  Supplementary 402,031 176,044
TOTAL   1,759,039 1,314,159
Non-Southern Connected Basin
  High 5,541 5,535
  General/Medium/Low 327,361 133,247
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 28,743 5,627
  Unregulated/Unsupplemented4 135,780 99,307
  Overland Flow 23,169 10,015
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
TOTAL   549,868 277,572
*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.