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Water available for next season

2Goulburn and Loddon water systems are expected to start the 2013-14 season with water allocations of more than 50 per cent, the northern Victorian resource manager has forecast.

February 19, 2013 4:05am

Goulburn and Loddon water systems are expected to start the 2013-14 season with water allocations of more than 50 per cent, the northern Victorian resource manager has forecast.

The Victorian Murray system could start between nine and 32 per cent, depending on whether it is wet or dry.

In his first outlook report for the next season, resource manager Mark Bailey said the Campaspe system was expected to start the season with 100 per cent of high reliability water shares.

‘‘Early-season announcements in the Broken system will be influenced by the volume carried over and catchment conditions. All of the northern Victorian systems are expected to have seasonal determinations of 100 per cent of high reliability water shares by mid-February 2014 under average inflow conditions,’’ Dr Bailey said.

‘‘The volume of unused allocation at the end of the 2012-13 season in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems is expected to be lower than recent seasons due to higher usage by water share holders.

‘‘The majority of storages across northern Victoria are now lower than this time 12 months ago.

‘‘The allocation carried over in the Broken, Loddon and Bullarook systems is likely to be close to the maximum available under the rules for those systems,’’ he said.

‘‘The storage position and carryover trends means that it is unlikely that a low risk of spill will be declared in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems early in the 2013-14 season.’’

Seasonal determinations of low-reliability water shares in the Murray, Goulburn and Loddon systems will depend on usage and the volume of inflows during winter and spring. If inflows result in water being debited from spillable water accounts and water is used during periods of unregulated flows without release from storage, the chances of seasonal determinations of low-reliability water shares improve.

Dr Bailey said there was likely to be a high volume of unused allocation at the end of the 2012-13 season in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe systems, but not as high as the previous two seasons due to the change in carryover rules and higher usage.

Based on the volume expected to be held in Victoria’s share of Lake Hume and Dartmouth Reservoir, and the volumes in Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock at the end of 2012-13, there is potential for spills to occur in all three systems in 2013-14.

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