A set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been developed regarding works licence applications that will be assessed by the Minister for Water following the announcement on 10 July of new measures to manage the impact of increasing extractions on the environment and existing entitlement holders.

Previously provided information and factsheets on these changes can be found here.

There are important temporary changes to the approval processes for all Bore Construction Licences in some areas of Victoria.


From October 2nd the Victorian Government is waiving the Bore Construction Licence (BCL) application fee for Domestic & Stock (D&S) bores in designated areas. These are Local Government Areas (LGA’s) that have been determined to be currently drought affected.

Applications for all bores should still be made online at waterregister.vic.gov.au, for more information open the D&S Bore Application Fee Relief document below  

pdf Approved Fee Relief News Item.pdf (PDF - 207Kb)

A set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) has been developed for the Goulburn to Murray Trade Review.

These relate to the changes the Minister for Water announced in August 2019, which aim to protect the health of the lower Goulburn River and provide a level playing field for all water users in northern Victoria.

The FAQs will be updated over coming months as the review progresses to provide people with more information about upcoming changes.

Previously provided information and factsheets on these changes can be found here

In response to ongoing drought and dry conditions, the Victorian Government is waiving the $235 application fee for new domestic and stock (D&S) bore construction licences for landholders in eligible Local Government Areas (LGAs).

This new initiative is part of the Victorian Government’s recently announced $31 million drought support package and will help landholders secure their D&S water supply needs in areas experiencing drought and dry conditions.

Where construction of a bore will help prevent animal welfare issues by providing water for stock, the bore fee waiver can be used in conjunction with the Commonwealth On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme (up to $25,000).

The program is available to landholders in East Gippsland, Wellington, Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Shepperton, Loddon, Moira and Swan Hill Shires from 02 October 2019.

This year, we will have staff at the Elmore Field Days to specifically provide information about the My Water application and Water Market Transparency.

My Water allows individuals online access to help manage their water holdings. As well as this, it has become the portal through which people apply for various Bore Construction Licenses and submit Bore Completion Reports.  My Water registration via a Form 39a will allow you to see your nominated Allocation Account balances in real time and it will also facilitate direct online trading of water. Some staff will have online access and be able to assist with the lodgement of My Water registrations direct from the Field Days.

Also, DELWP has recently released a paper looking at options to increase water market transparency and, is beginning state-wide consultation at the Elmore Field Days.  The options paper is found on Engage Victoria  and we invite the public to have their say at https://engage.vic.gov.au/water-market-transparency

Staff will be located at a couple of desks inside the Agriculture Victoria pavilion at site number 349, on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Bonn Drive.

The weather looks to be shaping up nicely and the Field Days are always a great day out. Hope to see you there!

Victorian Water Accounts 2017-18 now available

This report is the 15th in the annual series and summarises Victoria’s water availability, distribution and use for the 2017-18 year. Data in the report is provided by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, water businesses, the Essential Services Commission, the Bureau of Meteorology, and major water users

Highlights of the 2017-18 Victorian Water Accounts

This digital resource complements the written report, providing a new way to engage with water data and learn more about its management.
Explore the 2017-18 Victorian Water Accounts highlights, at https://howmuch.water.vic.gov.au

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Do you use DELWP’s annual Victorian Water Accounts, or any of Water and Catchment’s other reporting resources? Do you want to talk to us about it? Then head to this page and fill in our really short survey on our water reporting products.

Victorian Water Accounts 2017–18 at a glance

• These accounts provide statewide and system pictures of water availability and use for each of Victoria’s 29 river basins and 20 groundwater catchments and for each of the state’s rural and urban distribution systems for 2017–18.

• 2017–18 was a drier-than-average year for most of Victoria. The below-average July 2017 following on from a record dry June gave Victoria its second-driest start to winter on record (after 1982).

• In 2017–18, Victoria experienced its driest winter since 2006 and its driest autumn since 2008.

• Warm temperatures and low rainfall from January to July in 2018 increased the impact of drought in eastern Australia.

• The total available volume of surface water, groundwater and recycled water was about half of the previous year.

• In 2017–18, urban water restrictions were applied for one town. Decreased rainfall meant there were more restrictions on diversions from streams in 2017–18, with a peak of diversions restricted in 130 streams in March 2018, compared to 94 in March 2017.

• In July 2017, opening allocations were low for all entitlements in regulated systems. By February, all high-reliability entitlements received 100% except for the Werribee and Bacchus Marsh district.

• Although storages ended the year lower than they began, 28 of Victoria’s regional storages reached at least 90% of capacity by September 2017, and four reached full capacity and were spilling.

• In most groundwater systems, water levels were similar to those in the previous year.

• Surface water, groundwater and recycled water use increased, compared to 2016–17.

• This year was the VEWH’s seventh year managing water for the environment in Victoria. In 2017–18, 92% of identified potential watering actions were fully or partially achieved through a combination of naturally wet conditions and managed environmental flows.

Reports for previous years are available here.

The Minister for Water has announced today the Victorian Government will be taking decisive action to protect the health of the lower Goulburn River, and provide a level playing field for all water users in northern Victoria.

Read the Minister’s media release here.

Three key actions will be rolled out over the next 12 months:

  • An interim operational regime that achieves variable summer flows in the Goulburn well below recent volumes will be implemented before the high-risk period begins this summer.
  • From December all trades from the Goulburn system, including water use from tagged accounts, will be treated consistently with Victorian rules for inter-valley trade and in line with Basin Plan trading rules.
  • Public consultation will commence in January next year on long-term options to improve the current Goulburn to Murray trade rule to reflect the environmental thresholds of the lower Goulburn River and to maximise trade opportunities within these limits.

These actions have been informed by the review of Goulburn to Murray trade arrangements that DELWP is currently undertaking. The initial findings of this review have identified that the current rules are not protecting the environment of the lower Goulburn, and changes are needed.

Read more: Changes to Goulburn system trade and operational arrangements

On 10 July 2019, the Minister for Water announced that Lower Murray Water (LMW) and Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) are to refer all works licence applications for extractions from the lower Murray to her for assessment for the next 12 months.


This includes applications for new works licences and amendment of existing works licences and the conditions relating to extraction share, which is the measure used to determine rationing of supply during rosters or restrictions.

The Minister has stated that she will be taking consideration of the cumulative impacts of growing extractions on the environment and on existing entitlement holders.

Read more: Minister announces review for works licence applications in lower Murray

A new independent report by Aither is available which provides more information on water supply scenarios and new estimates of current and future horticulture demand with a focus on the lower Murray region.

The report shows that horticultural crop demands in the southern Basin are higher than previous estimates and will continue to grow as existing plantings mature and new developments occur in New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. 95% of horticulture in the southern Basin is in the lower Murray region and accounts for a large proportion of total water use in that area.

This is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment under Water for Victoria to improve public water market information to help water users make informed decisions in managing their water and to increase water market transparency.

Read more: New report on water supply and horticulture demand in the Murray

Victoria has been working in partnership with New South Wales, South Australia and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to improve how water trades are accounted between states, to better reflect the contemporary needs of the water market.

This work has led to three new methods to manage trade adjustments – the accounting adjustments that are made to states’ shares of water in storage in response to water users trading across state borders.

These improved methods will be trialled starting 1 July 2019 and will continue for three years. The changes better align trade adjustments with the location and the time of delivery of inter-state trade.

Read more: Trial of improved trade adjustment methods

The Victorian Water Register will open for trades at 12 noon AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Monday 1 July 2019.

Further information is provided below on certain trade limits and factors that will affect opening trade opportunities.

Read more: Trade opening information for 1 July 2019

The Victorian Water Register will be closed while we complete the end of year accounting to roll over from the 2018-19 water year to 2019-20.

On-line services will be suspended from 5pm AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Friday 28 June 2019 until 12 noon AEST on Monday 1 July 2019.

Read more: Important info for end of 2018-19 financial year

Facts sheets are now available on some of the key information in the updated Water Market Trends report, which was recently published.

These five fact sheets provide simple and accessible information on how entitlements are owned and water is being used in northern Victoria, the key factors influencing the price of water allocation on the market, how irrigators are sourcing their water, and carryover and how entitlement holders are using it.

Read more: Fact sheets on water market trends

In line with the trading rules for the Broken system, allocation trade out of the Broken system will close for this season on Sunday 31 March 2019. Trade applications received after 31 March will not be approved.

Any trades that are submitted online from the Broken to trading zones in other water systems are automatically assessed online. These trades can be submitted online up until trade closes on Sunday 31 March 2019.

The 31 March 2019 closing date does not apply to trade within the Broken system or back-trade into the Broken from other systems.

Available trade opportunities can be found here

An updated report on water market trends in northern Victoria is now available, providing important insights into the changes in how water is owned, used and traded and the factors impacting the price of water on the market.

This is an update to the previous Water Market Trends report released in February 2016. It analyses data from the Victorian Water Register on trends in the northern Victorian water market since 2001. This new report includes additional information on the changes observed since 2014-15, and on trade patterns between different water users in recent seasons.

Read more: Updated water market trends available

All services relating to the Victorian Water Register, including online trades and Bore Construction Licencing will be affected and may be unavailable on two occasions over the coming days.


Thursday March 7, between 07:00 pm and 12:00 midnight the whole system will be offline for essential system maintenance.

Saturday March 9, between 11:00 am and 05:00 pm the system may be affected by a Vic Maps outage.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) recently put out a media release on its assessment of the risks that could impact on a delivery shortfall in the River Murray this season. This assessment found that the overall the risk of a delivery shortfall this season is low. However, if it turns even drier then the risk of a shortfall later in the season could increase slightly.

River operators will continue to keep a close eye on demand and conditions and have identified a range of mitigation measures to help manage any potential shortfalls this season.

Read more: MDBA assessment of delivery risks in 2019

Victorian Water Accounts 2016-17 now available

This report is the 14th in the annual series and summarises Victoria’s water availability, distribution and use for the 2016-17 year. Data in the report is provided by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, water businesses, the Essential Services Commission, the Bureau of Meteorology, and major water users.

Read more: Victorian Water Accounts 2016-17 now available

The Victorian Water Trading Annual Report for 2017-18 is now available here. The annual trade report is part of the Victorian government’s commitment to an open and transparent water market.

Record volumes of allocation trade in northern Victoria in 2017-18 show that people are increasingly using the water market to deal with changes in commodity prices, climate and seasonal conditions.

Active irrigators in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District and in Sunraysia were net buyers of allocation in the market.

Drying conditions in northern Victoria and emerging drought in NSW resulted in increasing market prices for water allocation during the year and had a strong influence on where water was traded to.

Read more: Monitoring the Victorian water market in 2017-18

The Victorian Water Trading Annual Report for 2017-18 is now available.

This report summarises all water trades recorded in the Victorian Water Register for the 2017-18 year.  It presents information about the number, volume, price and location of trades for water shares, allocation, and groundwater and surface water take and use licences.

Read more: 2017-18 annual water trading report