There’s been another slight increase in the availability of high-reliability water shares, across northern Victoria.
The latest seasonal determination figures from Northern Victorian Resource Manager Mark Bailey show the Murray system moved from 90 per cent of high-reliability water shares to 94pc.
The Goulburn and the Loddon system increased from 85pc HRWS to 88pc HRWS.
Seasonal determinations in the Broken system, increased from 20 to 24pc.
Dr Bailey told the recent Australian Water Brokers Association annual general meeting, in Melbourne, the Broken system was sitting in a rain shadow, affecting flows into Lake Nilachootie and downstream.
He told AWBA it was still expected the Murray system would reach 100pc, by February but the Goulburn would only reach 93pc.
#NVRM update on Victorian allocations: Murray up 4% to 94%, Goulburn & Loddon up 3% to 88%, Broken up 4% to 24%— Key Water (@KeyWater1) December 2, 2018
Mark Bailey spoke to #AWBA last week, suggesting Vic Murray will reach 100% this year, while Goulburn only likely to reach max 93% pic.twitter.com/kbhpUDUust
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Dr Bailey told the AWBA AGM he was quite surprised as to how advanced Victoria was, this year, in terms of overall numbers.
He said if the Loddon was not tied to the Goulburn system, it would actually be standing at 100pc HRWS.
“Much of northern Victoria received average rainfall during November,” Dr Bailey said.
“Rain briefly increased flows into several of the major storages during the past fortnight.
“The flows were higher than our conservative estimates and provided additional resource to allocate.”
But he said flows into the storages remained well below the long-term average.
Dr Bailey noted the climate outlooks for summer rainfall did not favour wetter or drier conditions.
“The latest Bureau of Meteorology seasonal outlook indicates there is an even chance of receiving above average rainfall during the December to February period,” Dr Bailey said.
“The Bureau has issued an El Niño Alert, meaning the chance of an El Niño forming in 2018 is around 70 per cent. The positive Indian Ocean Dipole continues, but its influence on rainfall is likely to reduce in December.”
NSW Murray general security, which stood at zero pc, was also affecting Victoria.
He said G-MW was getting a lot of questions as to why Victorian Murray HRWS were higher than those in NSW.
“It comes down to the different approaches the two states take, and also the way in which resources are allocated to the two states,” Dr Bailey said.
“It’s raising a lot of concerns.”
Low NSW general security was keeping a lot of water out of the market.
“That’s really contributing to the costs we are seeing, at the moment, and also a lot of the pressure that's occurring in the Murray and, to a lesser extent, on the Goulburn.
“It’s a real concern for the broader system in the Southern Connected Basin.”
Dr Bailey urged water users to continue planning their water needs carefully.
“Websites such as the Resource Manager (www.nvrm.net.au), the Victorian Water Register (www.waterregister.vic.gov.au) and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (www.mdba.gov.au) provide information about water trends and availability, which can help users plan their use.”