Victoria is adopting a new approach to water delivery entitlements in declared systems

The ‘Place of Take Approvals’ framework is a new approach to water delivery entitlements in Victorian declared systems. It will come into effect during the 2023–24 water year once consultation is complete. The new framework will:

  • clarify and protect existing water users’ rights to take water during the rare event that river rationing is required
  • provide flexibility for water users to manage their own delivery risks.

Declared systems include the regulated Murray, Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon, Broken, Bullarook, Ovens, Werribee and Thomson-Macalister systems.

The new approach does not affect anyone’s water shares, it simply clarifies their right (entitlement) to have that water delivered.

The changes will:

  • Give water users more certainty about their rights to have water delivered down our rivers and enable more flexibility to manage their own delivery risks.
  • Enable the Minister to make rules to cap and allow for the trade of these delivery rights.
  • Protect the rights of existing entitlement holders in water systems where delivery risks are increasing.
  • Give water users confidence there are strong penalties to protect them from impacts of others taking more than their fair share during any river rationing.

A fact sheet and a set of frequently asked questions are available, which explain the changes and what those changes will mean for water users.

PDFDownload Fact Sheet: Place of Take Approvals (May 2023) 292.47 KB
pdfDownload FAQs: Place of Take Approvals (March 2023) 636.26 KB

At commencement of the new framework, existing approvals will be converted into Place of Take Approvals in accordance with the conversion rules below. A fact sheet on what this means for river diverters is also below.

pdfDownload Conversion Rules for Place of Take Approvals
Download Fact Sheet: Converting existing approvals – river diverters (May 2023) 304 KB

What the new Place of Take Approvals framework means for water users

Four short animations have been created outlining what the new framework means for different types of water users.

River Murray delivery risks

In the River Murray downstream of the Barmah Choke, there has always been a risk of not being able to deliver all the water that people are entitled toduring peak demand periods over summer and autumn. The river is actively managed to avoid rationing water users wherever possible. However, a shortfall can happen if there is either:

  • a heatwave and a sudden spike in demand (a delivery shortfall)
  • not enough capacity in the system to supply water to meet all downstream needs throughout the summer and autumn (a system shortfall).

More information about Murray delivery risks and shortfalls is available here including:

  • what's changing in the system
  • what is being done to respond to increasing delivery risks
  • current shortfall risk
  • what does a shortfall mean for water users
  • shortfall response plans.