An issue was encountered this morning, Wednesday 18 March 2020, in the processing of trade opportunities in Victorian Water Register.

This issue resulted in an error in the volume of trade opportunity available under the Goulburn to Murray trade rule.

Once this issue was identified, all online trading services, including the Broker Portal and API and MyWater were immediately taken offline.

The issue has now been resolved and all online services were restored at approximately 11.00am this morning.

The balance of the Goulburn IVT account is currently about 210 GL. In line with the Goulburn to Murray trade rule, further trade opportunity will only be available if the balance of the Goulburn IVT account reduces below 200 GL.

The Minister for Water has released a consultation paper on changes to the Goulburn to Murray trade rule and today the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning starts 6 weeks of public consultation to gather community feedback on the proposals.

The Goulburn to Murray trade rule affects how water can be traded between the Goulburn and Murray systems, and feedback from the community will support the development and implementation of trade rules to be better manage trade between the two systems.

You can get a copy of the consultation paper below and more information on the Goulburn to Murray trade review can be found here.

Read more: Consultation begins on Goulburn to Murray trade rule changes

The Victorian Government remains committed to improving market transparency and is publishing more information than ever before including on how carryover is being used.

DELWP today published the first in a series of fact sheets on carryover, which offers insights into how carryover is being used by active irrigators across northern Victoria.

Over coming months, DELWP will be publishing additional fact sheets on the Water Register website:

  • How environmental water holders are using carryover;
  • How spill rules work for carryover; and
  • Carryover, trade and use – how entitlement holders are behaving.

We are continuing to work with irrigators and other water users in northern Victoria to better understand concerns about carryover, water market prices and the need for more information on water markets. DELWP have put together frequently asked questions and will publish more information as we continue to engage with water users across different industries and regions in Victoria.

This supports the Victorian Government’s push for greater transparency for water markets to help boost confidence and that they are working for all Victorians. 

For more information on other actions to improve market transparency, read the Minister’s media release here.
Previously provided information and factsheets on carryover can be found here

The Victorian Government is committed to improving water market transparency and making our information more available and accessible than ever before.

One of the features of water trading is inter-valley trade, which can be used to move allocation between different trading zones by allocation trade or tagged use.

The ability to move water between trading zones is subject to trade limits, which define how much water can be transferred from one trading zone to another.

Today, DELWP in association with Goulburn-Murray Water and Lower Murray Water  are releasing an instructional video on how to use the ‘Where can I trade?’ tool.

Read more: How to use the ‘Where can I trade?’ tool

Trade from the Goulburn, Loddon, Broken and Campaspe systems to the Victorian Murray and interstate is prevented when the balance of the Goulburn Inter-Valley Trade (IVT) account is 200 GL or more.

At the time of this news item, the balance of the Goulburn IVT account is approximately 201 GL.

Water is continuing to be called out from the Goulburn IVT account by the MDBA to supply the Murray. These releases are reducing the balance of the Goulburn IVT account and will create trade opportunity once the balance reduces below 200 GL.

The Resource Manager will be publicly updating the balance of the Goulburn IVT account with the volumes called out at 10am on a Wednesday.

This season, volumes called out from the Goulburn IVT are being updated once a week, rather than twice a week as in previous seasons.

Read more: Goulburn to Murray allocation trade opportunity

There are some significant changes that come into effect from January 1, 2020.

From January 1 onwards, the "Oaths and Affirmations Act 2018" which came into effect on 1 March 2019, will change the framework for the way to make statutory declarations.

A transitional period that allowed statutory declarations to be valid even if made under the old system expires on New Year's Eve 2019, and the new framework must be followed from 1 January, 2020.

If you use statutory declarations, you need to understand the changes.

Read more: Changes to Statutory Declarations from January 1

The tracking allocation trade functionality that allows a broker to track his/her trades is now available again:

http://waterregister.vic.gov.au/Public/TrackAllocation.aspx

The trade outcome notification letters that a broker sends to his/her customers includes the link (http://waterregister.vic.gov.au/Public/TrackAllocation.aspx) so that the customers can see the details of their trades according to the Water Register website.

DELWP has been consulting with the community on water market transparency based on an options released in September at engage.vic.gov.au/water-market-transparency. We heard from a wide range of water market participants, and have consolidated what was heard into a closing the loop consultation summary report. Most people were overwhelmingly in favour of greater transparency in certain aspects of water markets with an appropriate level of protection for irrigators’ commercial privacy.

Following consultation, the Victorian Government has announced a range of actions to improve transparency

Read more: Greater transparency for Victorian water markets

The Victorian Water Trading Annual Report for 2018-19 is now available.

This report summarises all water trades recorded in the Victorian Water Register for the 2018-19 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.

Prevailing dry conditions in northern Victoria and the continuing drought in New South Wales resulted in higher market prices for water allocation, with market prices up to three times higher than 2017-18 prices. The number of trades increased, but lower volumes of water were traded and higher market prices were recorded for both water allocation and water shares.

Read more: 2018-19 water trading report

There will be scheduled upgrades to to the Victorian Water Register happening on the morning of Thursday December 12th between 12:00 AM and 12:00 PM. 

During this time access to allocation trading will not be available either through water corporations or online

Read more: Allocation trade not available morning of 12 December 2019

New rules to restrict water use from tagged accounts will take effect on 12 December 2019, as previously announced by the Minister for Water.

Final regulatory approval for these new rules was given on 10 December and the restrictions will take effect from 12.00am on 12 December 2019.

The new rules restrict tagged use when trade limits for related allocation trade have been reached. Restrictions on tagged use only apply when allocation trade is also closed.

As the Goulburn to Murray trade limit is currently closed, this means that water users with accounts in the Goulburn that are tagged for use in the Murray will be restricted starting 12 December 2019 until the trade limit re-opens.

These changes aim to protect the health of the lower Goulburn River and provide a level playing field for all water users in northern Victoria.

More information and frequently asked questions on these changes can be found here.

Copies of the interim regulations and Ministerial Determination that have been made to implement these new rules can be found here.

The Minister for Water has today announced an interim operating regime that sets out how much traded water can be delivered from the Goulburn to the Murray system this summer.

The interim operating regime will ensure that Victoria meets the inter-valley trade volume requested by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to fulfil downstream delivery commitments, while using targeted variable flows that minimise environmental risk.

The Minister has also confirmed that the Victorian Government is putting restrictions in place on 12 December 2019 for the use of water from tagged accounts, subject to final regulatory approval. This means that tagged account holders will no longer be able to use water from Goulburn system accounts tagged to the Murray when there are trade limits in place between the Goulburn and Murray systems. More information is available on upcoming changes to tagged trade below.

Read more: Changes to tagged trade and operational regime for the Goulburn system

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.

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  

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.

Read more: Elmore Field Days Oct 1st,2nd & 3rd 2019

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

Read more: Victorian Water Accounts 2017-18 now available

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.

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/minister-takes-control-of-lower-murray-water-extraction/

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