Recent rain improves seasonal determination outlook in northern Victoria

By Rodney Woods

Recent rain and an increase in water availability had improved the outlook for seasonal determinations against high-reliability water shares for the start of the 2020-21 water year.

That is according to northern Victorian resource manager Mark Bailey, who updated the outlook for 2020-21 seasonal determinations and risk of spill on May 15.

“Flows into the major storages since the start of April provided a welcome increase in water availability,” Dr Bailey said.

“Several storages received their highest April inflows in over 30 years.

“There is now enough resource available to meet operating needs in all systems and deliver seasonal determinations in the Murray, Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems on July 1, 2020.

“A repeat of the flows into the major storages observed in 2019-20 would result in the Goulburn system reaching about 85 per cent HRWS in February 2021 and the Murray system reaching about 60 per cent.

“Early season announcements in the Broken and Bullarook systems will be influenced by the volumes carried over and the flows into the storages between now and the end of June.”

Based on flow records and recent flow trends, the current risk of spill in the Goulburn system during 2020-21 is estimated to be about 20 per cent, while the risk in the Murray and Campaspe systems has increased to about 50 per cent.

Dr Bailey said the Bureau of Meteorology climate outlook for winter favoured wetter-than-average conditions across all of northern Victoria.