A new fact sheet is available to help water users understand how delivery shortfall risks are managed in the Murray River downstream of the Barmah Choke and what this means for their business.

This is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to improve public water information and transparency around water management.

Delivery shortfalls can occur when water available in the dams cannot be supplied to meet all demand at the time it is required.

There has always been a risk that during peak demand periods on the River Murray, river operators will not be able to deliver enough water downstream of the Barmah Choke to meet all demand. This is because it takes a matter of weeks for water to get from the dams to where it is being used and there are natural physical limits to the volume of water that can travel down the river system.

Victorian water sharing arrangements are designed to manage this risk and we have not experienced a delivery shortfall since 2002. The Victorian Government is aware that recent changes in the southern Murray-Darling Basin are changing how the River Murray is operated to mitigate delivery risks. We are working closely with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and other states to make sure river operators are equipped to manage constraints on delivery such as the Barmah Choke, changes in water use patterns, and deal with any unexpected changes in conditions.

The Victorian Government is also working with regional agencies to further strengthen our water sharing arrangements and to make sure our communities have the right tools and information to manage their water needs. This includes:

  • Ensuring trading rules adequately manage the impacts of water movement on other entitlement holders and environmental values;
  • Strengthening and modernising our approach to managing compliance and enforcement; and
  • Providing water users with clear, accurate information to enable them to do their due diligence when making investment decisions.