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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 May 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 6,689 2,700
Condamine Balonne Unsupplemented 61,971 43,626
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 15,585 5,284
Unsupplemented 92,045 56,426
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 87,013 36,545
Lower Darling High 397 333
General 795 644
Macquarie/Cudgegong High - -
General 126,224 53,014
Supplementary 8,292 1,741
Murray High 15,592 14,813
General 329,870 267,195
Conveyance 2,940 2,305
Supplementary 211 155
Groundwater 1,244 1,244
Unregulated 184 145
Murrumbidgee High 7,379 7,010
General 231,960 148,454
Conveyance 19,577 18,598
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 24,676 23,463
General 874,491 544,294
Conveyance 22,517 20,903
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 253,427 240,351
Low 22,379 9,462
Loddon High 3,356 3,188
Low 527 142
Murray High 294,240 279,796
Low 20,117 7,337
Ovens High 70 67
Wimmera-Mallee Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
Total Victoria High

557,797

529,769
Low 43,423 17,138
Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
South Australia
Murray High 134,054 120,649
Total SA High 134,054 120,649
Total Murray-Darling Basin
  High 716,528 673,881
  General/Medium/Low 933,499 566,716
  Conveyance 22,517 20,903
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 429,423 181,414
  Unsupplemented/Unregulated4 134,498 98,786
  Overland Flow 23,695 10,015
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
GRAND TOTAL   2,289,433 1,575,557
 
Southern Connected Basin6
  High 715,120 672,480
  General/Low 606,048 433,431
  Conveyance 22,517 20,903
  Supplementary 402,031 176,044
TOTAL   1,745,716 1,302,858
Non-Southern Connected Basin
  High 1,408 1,402
  General/Medium/Low 327,451 133,285
  Bulk Entitlement 28,000 22,568
  Supplementary 27,392 5,370
  Unregulated/Unsupplemented4 134,498 98,786
  Overland Flow 23,695 10,015
  Groundwater 1,273 1,273
TOTAL   543,717 272,699
*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.