System Management Instruments

There are three main instruments of appointment for managing systems in Victoria specified under the Water Act 1989: storage manager, resource manager and seasonal determination appointments.

Storage Manager

The Minister for Water has appointed storage managers under section 122ZK of the Water Act 1989 for large, regulated water systems which supply multiple bulk/environmental entitlement holders.

The functions of storage managers are specified in section 122ZL of the Water Act 1989. Obligations (which specify what storage managers are required to do) are conferred on storage managers by the relevant bulk/environmental entitlements in the water system. Obligations may differ between water supply systems to allow for the flexibility required in managing different systems.

Generally, storage managers manage and control water resources in water systems. General responsibilities include:

  • Managing releases for entitlement holders;
  • Making passing flow releases;
  • Accounting for inflows and water stored in the system; and
  • Making decisions around transferring water between multiple reservoirs in a system.

In some non-declared systems, where there is no section 64GA (seasonal determination) appointment, storage managers make seasonal allocations to entitlement holders.

Resource manager

The Minister for Water has appointed resource managers under section 43A(1)(b) of the Water Act 1989. The Water Act 1989 does not specify any functions for resource managers, so this role is defined by the obligations conferred on resource managers by the bulk entitlements relevant to the appointment.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is currently reviewing all resource manager appointments to see if they are still required or are redundant.

As part of the review, several resource manager appointments have been found to be redundant (contain no active obligations) and lapsed on 31 January 2022. These include Southern Rural Water’s resource manager appointment, Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water’s resource manager appointment and Goulburn-Murray Water’s resource manager appointments for the Kiewa, Loddon and Goulburn basins. Melbourne Water’s appointment for the Melbourne Headworks System Bulk Entitlements and Desalinated Water Bulk Entitlements is also redundant and was revoked on 9 September 2022.

Seasonal determinations

The Water Act 1989 allows the Minister for Water to appoint an authority to be responsible for making seasonal determinations in respect of declared water systems under section 64GA. The appointed water corporation is required to determine and publicly announce the water that is available in that system for each entitlement type.

Seasonal determinations instruments of appointment

Goulburn-Murray Water’s appointment includes the Broken, Bullarook, Goulburn, Loddon, Campaspe, Murray and Ovens declared water systems.

pdfAppointment GMW Seasonal determinations(PDF - 116 Kb)

Southern Rural Water’s appointment includes the Thomson/Macalister and Werribee declared water systems.

pdfAppointment SRW Seasonal determinations(PDF - 120 Kb)