The Water Resource Strategy Division is excited to announce that the 2020–21 Victorian Water Accounts (VWA) have been released: Victorian water accounts - Water Register.

This is the 18th report in the series, released alongside new iterations of the Highlights (howmuch.water.vic.gov.au) and the Online VWA (accounts.water.vic.gov.au).

The Highlights explain Victoria’s water entitlement and management frameworks, provide a high-level summary of water availability and use for the water year and illustrate water trends over time.

Read more: The 2020–21 Victorian Water Accounts, Online Water Accounts and Highlights now available

The Victorian Government is committed to increasing water market transparency and actively monitoring water markets to ensure that they continue to operate effectively.

The annual audit of allocation trades submitted by water brokers through the Victorian Water Register’s online Broker Portal is a key component of recognising water brokers that meet government standards and auditing requirements.  The audit helps to ensure that brokers meet their obligations to provide transparency of allocation trades and accurate price disclosure to all parties. The audit also evaluates the security of sensitive information and investigates brokers’ knowledge of their responsibilities to their clients.

Read more: Release of latest Victorian Water Brokers audit reports

This year the Victorian Water Register will close at midday (12.00 pm AEST) on 30 June 2022 and reopen at midnight (12.00 am AEST) on 1 July 2022 for the end of year accounting that enables the roll over from the 2021-22 to the 2022-23 water year.

Read more: Important information for end of 2021-22 financial year and trade opening times for 1 July 2022.

Improved allocation trade price information for the Murray: above and below the Barmah Choke

The allocation trade price summary information on the homepage of the Victorian Water Register website has now been updated to show the price for three separate areas.

  • Murray (below the Barmah Choke)
  • Murray (above the Barmah Choke)
  • Goulburn

Splitting the Murray trading zones to show the price for above or below the Barmah Choke will help support water users and market participants to make informed decisions when participating in the water market.

Read more: Improved market information

The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning has published two new fact sheets and a series of frequently asked questions to help Victorian water users better understand shortfalls in the Murray River downstream of Barmah and what this means for managing their risks.

The first fact sheet explains what shortfalls are, how they are managed and how different water users may be impacted. The second fact sheet outlines what water users need to know and do in the lead up to, and during, a shortfall event.

Read more: New fact sheets on shortfalls in the Murray below Barmah

The Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, has announced that interim regulations restricting tagged water use in line with trade are to be made enduring, to keep a level playing field for all types of trade and help protect the health of the lower Goulburn River. This decision comes after extensive community consultation on the Goulburn to Murray trade review regulatory impact statement and builds on the work done to date to keep the amount that can be traded in line with what can sustainably be delivered. Read more about the Minister’s decision here.

Subject to final regulatory approval from Executive Council, the enduring regulations will commence on 30 November 2021 and will be in place for 10 years. The enduring regulations and supporting material will be made available on the trading rules webpage.

Read more: Restrictions on tagged use to become long-term from 30 November 2021

A plan for delivering water from the Goulburn Inter-Valley Trade (IVT) account to the Murray has been released to support implementation of the interim operating and trade rules introduced on 1 July 2021.

The operating plan sets out a default monthly pattern for delivering water from the Goulburn IVT account, and the seasonal conditions for varying delivery from this default. It has been designed to ensure that traded water can be delivered within the ecological tolerances set out in the interim operating rules and without impacting on Murray entitlements or delivery security.

The operating plan outlines how water is expected to be delivered from the Goulburn IVT during 2020-21, including when trade opportunities are likely to become available. A fact sheet explaining how water will be delivered and how this creates trade opportunity has also been released.

Read more: Operating plan for Goulburn IVT delivery released

Earlier this year, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning , in collaboration with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority consulted with various key Commonwealth, cross-jurisdiction and Victorian stakeholders, and Traditional Owners about delivery risks in the River Murray, following the release of the joint Basin governments’ report Managing Delivery Risks in the River Murray System.

Several key themes were raised throughout consultation including:

  • What is being done to manage delivery risks
  • What to expect in a shortfall
  • What are the other states doing
  • Growth in horticultural plantings
  • Menindee Lakes and compliance in the Northern Basin
  • Changes at Barmah Choke
  • Environmental water delivery

Read more: What We Heard about Managing Delivery Risks in the River Murray System

The Victorian Water Register has maintenance works scheduled for Thursday October 28, 2021.  The system will be offline between 06:00 PM and 11:00 PM.

Read more: Scheduled Maintenance - Thursday 28th October 2021

Please be advised that elements of the Victorian Water Register will be offline from 5:00PM Friday 15th October 2021 to 08:00AM Monday 18th October 2021.

During this time, online services such as water trading and bore application processes will be unavailable.

Read more: Victorian Water Register offline 15 October to 18 October 2021

The Acting Minister for Water Richard Wynne has announced that from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 a new two-part trade rule will come into effect for Goulburn to Murray inter-valley trade. Read the Minister’s announcement here.

This new rule is based on the recent public consultation on changes to the trade rule as part of the Goulburn to Murray trade review but includes some important improvements in response to community feedback. The rule will give certainty for the 2021-22 water year, while further testing and analysis of complementary interim operating rules is undertaken over the coming summer.

The new rule will replace the current year-round rolling limit of 200 GL. The new two-part trade rule means that:

  • From 1 July, trade will be possible whenever the balance of the Goulburn inter-valley trade account is lower than the new limit of 190 GL; and
  • On 15 December, net trade will be capped to enable the inter-valley trade account balance to be drawn down over the rest of the year.

Read more: Interim Goulburn to Murray trade rules introduced from 1 July 2021

The Victorian Water Register will be closed while we complete the end of year accounting to roll over from the 2020-21 water year to 2021-22.

This will occur from 5pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Wednesday 30 June 2021 until 10am AEST on Thursday 1 July 2021.

Read more: Important information for end of 2020-21 financial year

The Water Resource Strategy Division is excited to announce that the 2019–20 Victorian Water Accounts (VWA) have been released: Victorian water accounts - Water Register.

This is the 17th report in the series, released alongside new iterations of the Highlights (howmuch.water.vic.gov.au) and the Online VWA (accounts.water.vic.gov.au).

The Highlights, pre-released in July 2020 alongside the 2018–19 Accounts, explain Victoria’s water entitlement and management frameworks, provide a high-level summary of water availability and use for the water year and illustrate water trends overtime.

Released for the first time last year, the Online Water Accounts provides detailed information on surface water and distribution systems in an interactive way. Users can follow water from its source through to where it is used by customers. For the first time, the 2019–20 and 2018–19 reports will both be available, along with a summary of groundwater use and availability for 2019–20.

Read more: The 2019–20 Victorian Water Accounts, Online Water Accounts and Highlights now available

As part of the Victorian Government's ongoing commitment to continual improvement of water market information, two key elements have been collected since 27 August 2020. They are a Reason for trade and, date that the price for the trade was reached.

This data is now available from the Allocation Trade Data section of the Allocation Trading page. Extra columns have been added, so that when you generate a data set you can see all the deidentified information in one place. Work is underway to provide information on trends associated with this new information reason for trade.

By collecting and making this data publicly available, Victoria is providing more transparency about the types of trade occurring, the prices being paid for different water products and, when agreement was made on each trade.

For more information on reason from trade please view the fact sheet.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has reviewed long-term options for Goulburn to Murray operating and trade rules. We are seeking community feedback on the recommended long-term option with submissions now due by 9 May 2021.

Read more: Goulburn to Murray trade review submission deadline closing soon

In 2019, the Victorian Government announced a review of the Goulburn to Murray inter-valley trade rule to better protect the lower Goulburn River from unseasonal high flows of traded water to downstream users.

The Acting Minister for Water Richard Wynne has today released a regulatory impact statement (RIS) seeking feedback on proposed options for long-term Goulburn to Murray operating, trade and tagging rules. You can read the Minister’s media release here. The RIS consultation paper, along with summary information on proposed operating rules and trade rules and proposed arrangements for the Lower Broken Creek, has been published on the Engage Victoria website here.

Read more: Goulburn to Murray trade review consultation begins

A new fact sheet is available to help water users to understand the latest information about delivery risks in the River Murray System. It describes how delivery risks in the River Murray downstream of Barmah are changing and the actions that the Victorian and other River Murray governments are taking to address these risks.

The fact sheet is based on the key findings from the report Managing Delivery Risks in the River Murray System that was released in November 2020 by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority jointly with Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, in collaboration with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and, where appropriate, New South Wales and South Australia, will be discussing this information at a number of forums with water users in the coming months, including water corporation customer committees and other industry forums.

More information about delivery risks in the River Murray is available here.

More information about the work the River Murray governments are doing to better understand and manage delivery risks is available on the Murray-Darling Basin Authority website.

Dear Customers,

Please be advised that the whole of the Victorian Water Register production environment will need to be offline on Friday 18th DECEMBER 6:00PM to 9:00PM for essential maintenance.

During this time, the Victorian Water Register and associated online services such as water trading and bore application processes will be unavailable.

Read more: Services Offline - Friday 18 December 2020

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority together with the Victorian, New South Wales and South Australian governments have jointly released a new report on Managing Delivery Risks in the River Murray System.

Murray-Darling Basin Water Ministers have committed to working together on delivery and shortfall risks and discussing these risks and management approach with our communities.

A shortfall is when water that is entitled to be used cannot be delivered when and where it is needed. This new report provides information to water users and communities on the key findings from recent studies to better understand delivery risks in the River Murray System and sets out the actions needed to support governments and water users to manage those risks.

The report analyses the impacts of system changes over the last 20 years in both supply and demand across the southern connected Basin. This includes reduced capacity of Barmah Choke, changing patterns of irrigation and environmental water use and climate change. It notes these factors will continue to pose risks to delivery into the future.

Read more: Managing Delivery Risks in the River Murray System

Who were the largest owners of water in Victoria during 2019/20?

As part of Victoria’s ongoing commitment to water market transparency, new information has been made public about ownership of water. The list shows the owners in northern Victoria that meet the 2% threshold in the Goulburn and Murray water systems.

During consultation in 2019, the community asked to know the names of the largest owners of water. The agreed definition of large from this consultation was anyone owning more than 2% of water in a system.

The Commonwealth Government is the largest single owner of water shares in both the Goulburn and Murray systems, holding the water for environmental purposes. The list shows that there are a small number of organisations who own more than 2% of water shares, including 6 companies. Nearly 60% of high reliability water shares are privately owned in shares that are smaller than 360 ML.

https://waterregister.vic.gov.au/water-trading/market-insights/large-water-owners