Victorian water allocation up

By Country News

High-reliability water shares have increased across the Murray, Goulburn and Loddon systems in the latest seasonal determination, with higher than expected rainfall behind the trend.

Released last Wednesday, the determination sees the Murray system move from 47 per cent of HRWS to 49 per cent HRWS, while the Goulburn and Loddon systems both increased three per cent to 37 per cent HRWS. The Campaspe system remains at 100 per cent HRWS.

Seasonal determinations in the Broken system and the Bullarook system remain at zero per cent HRWS.

Northern Victoria resource manager Mark Bailey said there had been minor improvements in the volume of water available.

‘‘Stream flows into the major storages exceeded our forecasts due to rain in the last fortnight,’’ Dr Bailey said.

‘‘The catchments are responding to rain when it falls, but we need more rain to increase storage levels and generate larger seasonal determination improvements.’’

Dr Bailey said the climate outlooks continued to favour drier conditions.

‘‘The latest Bureau of Meteorology seasonal outlook indicates below-average rainfall across all of northern Victoria is more likely during the August to October period,’’ he said.

‘‘The bureau also says there is a 50 per cent chance that an El Niño event will develop in spring.’’