Victorian Water Accounts 2017-18 now available

This report is the 15th in the annual series and summarises Victoria’s water availability, distribution and use for the 2017-18 year. Data in the report is provided by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, water businesses, the Essential Services Commission, the Bureau of Meteorology, and major water users

Highlights of the 2017-18 Victorian Water Accounts

This digital resource complements the written report, providing a new way to engage with water data and learn more about its management.
Explore the 2017-18 Victorian Water Accounts highlights, at

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Victorian Water Accounts 2017–18 at a glance

• These accounts provide statewide and system pictures of water availability and use for each of Victoria’s 29 river basins and 20 groundwater catchments and for each of the state’s rural and urban distribution systems for 2017–18.

• 2017–18 was a drier-than-average year for most of Victoria. The below-average July 2017 following on from a record dry June gave Victoria its second-driest start to winter on record (after 1982).

• In 2017–18, Victoria experienced its driest winter since 2006 and its driest autumn since 2008.

• Warm temperatures and low rainfall from January to July in 2018 increased the impact of drought in eastern Australia.

• The total available volume of surface water, groundwater and recycled water was about half of the previous year.

• In 2017–18, urban water restrictions were applied for one town. Decreased rainfall meant there were more restrictions on diversions from streams in 2017–18, with a peak of diversions restricted in 130 streams in March 2018, compared to 94 in March 2017.

• In July 2017, opening allocations were low for all entitlements in regulated systems. By February, all high-reliability entitlements received 100% except for the Werribee and Bacchus Marsh district.

• Although storages ended the year lower than they began, 28 of Victoria’s regional storages reached at least 90% of capacity by September 2017, and four reached full capacity and were spilling.

• In most groundwater systems, water levels were similar to those in the previous year.

• Surface water, groundwater and recycled water use increased, compared to 2016–17.

• This year was the VEWH’s seventh year managing water for the environment in Victoria. In 2017–18, 92% of identified potential watering actions were fully or partially achieved through a combination of naturally wet conditions and managed environmental flows.

Reports for previous years are available here.