All of North Victoria’s irrigation systems have 100 percent of their high-reliability water quotas available as of September 1, the earliest they have reached full allocations in 25 years.
Goulburn, Loudoun, Campaspi, and Broken systems increased to 100 percent. The seasonal determination of the Victorian Murray System remains at 100 percent of the HRWS.
The last time a 100 percent HRWS (or equivalent) was available on all systems at the beginning of September was in 1997-1998, Mark Bailey, Director of Resources for North Victoria, said.
“All northern Victorian systems now have at least 100% of the HRWS available following strong backflow responses to rainfall during August,” said Dr Bailey.
“The response in the Goulburn watershed over Lake Eldon Water prompted Goulburn-Murray to release water in late August to slow the rate of rise in storage.
About seven gigaliters will be deducted from Goulburn’s spillable water accounts with today’s announcement.
This represents about 2 percent of the current volumes in the spillable water accounts.
“The deduction from Murray’s Spillable Water Accounts due to ongoing edits to manage Lake Hume levels through August will be confirmed in the Seasonal Resolution Update on September 15.
“As releases continue to manage the volumes of Lake Hume and Lake Eldon, Murray and Goulburn System benefit holders should expect further deductions from spillable water accounts.”
Dr Bailey said that with 100 per cent seasonal determinations and a forecast for the rainy season, there would now be “significant interest” in the possibility of allocating low-reliability water quotas.
About 1040 Gl were needed in the Murray system and 500 Gl in the Goulburn system before the LRWS was allocated in these systems.
“These volumes will decrease when system operating requirements and demands are met without releasing water from storage and when deductions from spillable water accounts occur,” he said.
Dr Bailey said more rain was likely, with a longer-term outlook in favor of wetter conditions.
“The Met Office’s latest forecast indicates that above-average precipitation will continue into December.”
Since HRWS seasonal selections are now 100 percent off, updates will now occur monthly on the 15th or next business day.