• Occupier
    A person who uses the land but does not own it.

    The occupier can hold licences over the land with the owner’s permission and can apply water to the land.
  • Operating licence
    A type of works licence that allows the operation of any works on a waterway (usually a pump), or a bore, or a dam.
  • Particular place of take approval
    An approval that allows the holder to use their water share or water allocation at a specific place (i.e. at the approved place of a general place of take approval).
  • Permanent trade
    In unbundled systems, this is now called a water share transfer or limited term transfer of a water share.

    In bundled systems, this refers to permanent trade of a take and use licence.
  • Permanent water
    See water entitlement. This term was previously more commonly used before unbundling in 2007.

    Using the name of the entitlement type helps avoid confusion.
  • Place of take approvals framework
    A new approach to water delivery entitlements in Victorian declared systems that came into effect on 20 November 2023. The framework:
    • Clarifies and protects existing water users’ rights to take water. during the rare event that river rationing is required.
    • Enables rules to cap and allow for the trade of delivery entitlements in water systems where delivery risks are increasing - providing flexibility for water users to manage their own delivery risks.

    The framework replaced prior approvals to take water at a place with the following – general place of take approvals, particular place of take approvals and external place of take approvals.
  • Pre-release
    Controlled releases from a storage made on the expectation that forecast inflows will replenish the volume released.

    Pre-releases are used to control the rate of and to provide some space in the dam to capture floodwaters.
  • Private right
    The Water Act 1989 allows individuals to take water for domestic and stock purposes from a range of surface water and groundwater sources without a licence.

    These domestic and stock rights are defined under section 8(1) and section 8(4)(c) of the Act.
  • Rationing area
    In November 2023 the Minister for Water declared rationing areas for all river reaches in declared systems (excluding irrigation district areas).

    These areas represent where all water users within the same rationing area will be restricted equally if a river shortfall event occurs. The areas have been designed to provide flexibility to manage restrictions to respond to different types of shortfalls, so that water users are not restricted for too long or in areas where it’s not necessary.
  • Registration licence
    A registration licence is an ongoing entitlement to take and use water from a catchment dam, spring or soak.

    Registration licences were issued between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2003 based on historical use of water.

    Registration licences are not tradeable, and do not need to be renewed.
  • Regulated water system
    A water system where the flow of the river is regulated through the operation of major storages or weirs to secure water supplies.

    For example, in northern Victoria there are seven regulated water systems: the Murray, Ovens, Broken, Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon and Bullarook.

    In southern Victoria the regulated systems are the Thomson/Macalister and Werribee.
  • Reliability
    Water shares are classed according to their reliability, which is defined by the frequency with which full seasonal allocations are expected to be available.

    Most water shares are classified as either high-reliability or low-reliability water shares.
  • Reserve policy
    Setting water aside on regulated water systems for use the following season before full allocations are made on all entitlements.
  • Resource manager
    The Minister for Water appoints a resource manager to allocate water on regulated river systems in accordance with Victorian water sharing rules.

    A resource manager makes seasonal determinations for regulated water systems based on water availability and water sharing rules.

    The resource manager is usually the water corporation responsible for that area.
  • River basin
    Victoria’s 29 river basins form catchment areas of the State’s major rivers either draining to the sea or the Murray River.
  • Salinity
    The movement and concentration of salts, dissolved in water, though the
    landscape. Both soils and water can become saline.
  • Season
    A shorthand way of referring to the irrigation season. Also may be referred to as water season, or irrigation season.

    The season is generally from 1 July to 30 June, but in irrigation districts may be shorter, often from 15 August to 15 May.
  • Seasonal determination
    The percentage of water share volume available under current resource conditions determined by the resource manager for northern Victorian regulated river systems.

    Since 1 July 2012 the resource manager has used seasonal determination instead of the previously used term, seasonal allocation. This is to distinguish between water available under current resource conditions and the water customers have available because of carryover.
  • Seasonal outlook
    When the resource manager for northern Victoria looks ahead to the new irrigation season and estimates indications of allocation levels for each system based on a range of seasonal conditions and scenarios.

    The resource manager uses the full record of inflows into storages to assess seasonal determinations for a range of scenarios.

    These are categorised as:
    wet - inflow volumes that have 10 chances in 100 (or 1 chance in 10) of being exceeded
    average - inflow volumes that have 50 chances in 100 (or 5 chances in 10) of being exceeded, and
    dry - inflow volumes that have 90 chances in 100 (or 9 chances in 10) of being exceeded.

    The first outlook for a new irrigation season starting on 1 July is usually announced around February, and updated at various times through the season.
  • Section 40 assessment
    Section 40 of the Water Act 1989 is a list that must be taken into account when a new licence is issued or a licence transfer is approved.

    Generally Section 40 matters include consideration of other people’s rights and the environment.