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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 July 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 62,163 43,697
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 93,399 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 335,911 272,088
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 22,177 21,068
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 882,476 550,451
Conveyance 25,117 23,373
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 275,645 261,234
Low 29,435 12,905
Loddon High 3,356 3,188
Low 527 142
Murray High 318,789 303,262
Low 25,489 10,125
Ovens High 70 67
Wimmera-Mallee Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
Total Victoria High 604,661 574,210
Low 55,851 23,369
Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
South Australia
Murray High 134,142 120,728
Total SA High 134,142 120,728
Total Murray-Darling Basin
  High 767,946 722,852
  General/Medium/Low 953,912 579,105
  Conveyance 25,117 23,373
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 430,774 181,671
  Unsupplemented/Unregulated4 135,852 99,307
  Overland Flow 23,169 10,015
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
GRAND TOTAL   2,366,043 1,640,163
 
Southern Connected Basin6
  High 762,405 717,317
  General/Low 626,551 445,857
  Conveyance 25,117 23,373
  Supplementary 402,031 176,044
TOTAL   1,816,104 1,362,591
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 135,852 99,307
  Overland Flow 23,169 10,015
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
TOTAL   549,940 277,572
*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.