The second annual report on water availability for irrigators, town supplies and the environment in northern Victoria, and how it was used, is now available. These reports are based on water available to use or trade under Victorian water shares and bulk and environmental entitlements recorded in the Water Register in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems in 2013-14.

Read more: 2013-14 water use by irrigators, towns & the environment

On Tuesday 28 October 2014, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) announced that it was reinstating the trading rule that restricts allocation trade from upstream of the Barmah Choke to downstream.

This is the first time since September 2007 that the trading rule has been reinstated. You can read the MDBA’s media release at http://www.mdba.gov.au.

Trading through the Choke

This means that allocation trade from upstream to downstream of the Choke is now limited. It can occur only if allocation is traded from below to above the Choke after 28 October 2014. This limit applies to trade applications received after 5pm on 28 October 2014.

Online applications for trade out of zone 6 (above Barmah Choke) will be referred to Goulburn Murray Water for manual processing, and will therefore not receive an instant response.

If you plan to trade water through the Choke, you or your broker needs to keep an eye on any trading limits that apply to you.

Why has this trading rule been reinstated?

The Barmah Choke is a narrow section of the Murray River between Tocumwal and Barmah that has a limited capacity and constrains the volume of water that can be passed to downstream users.

When this capacity is reached, delivery of water allocation that has been traded from upstream to downstream cannot be guaranteed. Under the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, MDBA can reinstate the trading limit if it feels that there are potential delivery problems.

The first annual audit of water brokers who use the Water Register’s Broker Portal to lodge allocation trades online has been completed with positive results.

The Broker Portal was established in November 2013. Since then, more than 15 brokers have entered into an agreement with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) to use the portal.

The portal allows brokers to lodge allocation trades online on behalf of their customers at a reduced cost, with near-instant results in most cases. More than 50% of all allocation trades completed in Victoria are now lodged through the portal with over 6,000 trades submitted successfully since it was launched.

Read more: First annual audit of water brokers complete

If you are planning to trade water, you need to keep an eye on the status of the trade limits that might affect you.

Trade is not allowed from the Goulburn, Campaspe, Broken and Loddon to the Victorian Murray, or to New South Wales and South Australia, if more than 200 gigalitres (GL) of water is owed to the Murray.

Read more: Understanding the Goulburn to Murray trade limit

Trade from the King to the lower Ovens is possible from 1 July this year. 
The Minister for Water has approved changes to the trading rules to allow trade of water shares and high-reliability allocation from the King system to the lower Ovens system downstream of the confluence of the King and Ovens Rivers, under certain conditions.

Read more: Changes on the Ovens from 1 July

The Victorian Water Register is now open including access to 'My Water' and online allocation trading.

We have now completed all necessary end of financial year water accounting tasks. We trust there has been minimal disruption to your business operations and we appreciate your support during this process.

Some of Victoria’s water trading rules are changing from 1 July 2014.

The Victorian Parliament has amended Victoria's Water Act 1989 and the Minister for Water has amended the Trading Rules for Declared Systems.

This puts Chapter 12 of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan into action in line with agreements signed in 2013 by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments.

From 1 July 2014 -

  • anyone can buy water allocation
  • holders of an allocation account will not change when water shares are linked to the account or removed from it
  • anyone can receive a limited term transfer of a water share
  • the seller must state the agreed price of the trade
  • many application forms are updated
  • the 4% limit on water share trade out of an irrigation area is removed.

These changes are happening so that Victoria can meet its obligations under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. They are also part of continuing efforts to make water transactions easier and cheaper for irrigators and entitlement holders.

The changes will apply in northern and southern Victoria from 1 July 2014.

What do these changes mean?

For most people, the changes will not be noticeable, and most of the rules stay as they are. The changes will have no effect unless someone is doing a trade, and even then, most things are not changing.

Freeing up the rules for buying allocation means that

• anyone can buy water allocation without a limit on the amount

• people can easily apply for a new allocation account online or by filling in a form and there is no fee.

Fixed holders of allocation accounts means that

• the holders of an allocation account will be fixed, and not change when water shares are linked to the account or removed from it

• there will be more flexibility to link a water share to an allocation account held by other people

• the fee for an application to link a water share to an allocation account will be $80, which is a reduction on the current fee in some cases.

Read more: Changes to Victorian water trading rules

New items are now automatically emailed to Victorian Water Register subscribers.

On-line services will be suspended from 5pm 30 June 2014 for the end of financial year.

The Victorian Water Register will be closed while we complete end of financial year accounting and implement changes to Victorian water trading rules arising from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Read more: Key end of year dates

Victorian Water Register fees for some applications will increase on Tuesday 1 July 2014. For more information click here.

Allocation trade and carryover rules on the Broken are changing from 1 July this year.

The Minister for Water has approved changes to the trading rules to allow limited allocation trade out of the Broken system.

The Minister has also approved changes to Broken carryover so that water can be carried over only against high-reliability water shares, and not  low-reliability water shares.

Read more: Changes on the Broken effective 1 July

The Carryover Calculator has been updated to include the Murray system limit on the volume of water allocation you can carry over into 2014-2015. This limit applies at the end of this season on 30 June.

Click on the icon below to try the updated calculator.

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Read more: Carryover Calculator updated

Goulburn system dairy farmers Craig Lister and Don Stewart and Steve and Margot Henty on the Murray talk about how they plan and manage carryover through drought and wetter years on a series of new carryover videos now available.

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Click here to watch the new carryover videos.

New information is now available explaining how allocations are determined and why there have been no allocations to low-reliability entitlements on the Goulburn and Murray systems this season.

This information on how Victoria's water budget works is provided by the Northern Victorian Resource Manager and the Water & Natural Resources Group of the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

pdfDownload PDF Understanding Victoria's water budget (PDF - 189 Kb)

Read more: Understanding Victoria's water budget

Victoria’s Water Register has a new streamlined website.

The website has been redesigned so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.

User-friendly versions are also available for mobile phones and tablets to get essential water information wherever you are.

Read more: Welcome to the new website

Improvements to the Victorian Water Register have been launched to make important water transactions cheaper, easier and faster for irrigators and other water users.

pdfDownload PDF Walsh - Water trading improvements cut irrigator red tape (PDF - 45 Kb)

The changes include:

  • Online allocation trading with near instant approval, and application fees cut by nearly 50%
  • Simpler processes for customers selling land and water together, reorganising the farm within a family or looking to streamline their water services

Read more: Trading improvements cut red tape

The Victorian Annual Water Trading Report 2012/13 is now available.

Copies of reports from previous years are available here.

The document below provides information for water share buyers on the potential impact of carryover recorded against a water share on either:

  • allocations available under that water share in the current season, or
  • any above entitlement storage charges levied against that water share in the current season.

Read more: Updated information for water share buyers

Summary information on water availability for irrigators, town supplies and the environment in northern Victoria during the 2012-13 season, and how it was used, is now available in the report below.

pdfDownload PDF 2012-13 Water Entitlements allocations and use summary (PDF - 392 Kb)

Allocation account statements for 2012-13 are now being mailed to Victorian entitlement holders. For more information click here.