Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
The following portfolio management statement is intended to provide guidance on the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office's potential approach to portfolio management in the Namoi catchment (Upper and Lower) for the remainder of 2012-13. This statement will be updated during the year as the approach to portfolio management is adjusted in response to actual seasonal conditions. The next routine update is anticipated in November 2012, however, further updates may be released in response to a significant change in circumstances.
Photo by Arthur Mostead © MDBA
Date issued: 07 September 2012
Recent Water Availability
The Namoi catchment experienced high levels of water availability in 2011-12. Split Rock Dam is at around 85 per cent of capacity and Keepit Dam is at around 100 per cent capacity.
|Entitlement type||Entitlement Held (GL)||Entitlement Held – Long-term Average Annual Yield (GL)||Carryover from 2011-12 (GL)||Water Available (GL)||Forecast Maximum Water Available in 2012-13(GL)|
|Upper Namoi (General Security)||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.1|
- Upper Namoi (General Security), maximum allocation account balance at any time of 100%, maximum carryover of 50%.
- Lower Namoi (General Security), maximum allocation account balance at any time of 200%, maximum carryover of 200%, maximum annual use of 125%, maximum three yearly use of 300%.
- Use, account and carryover limits are expressed as percentage of entitlement held.
Commonwealth environmental water available in 2012-13
The opening balance in 2012-13 was 12.3 GL. Allocation announcements of 12.8 per cent for Lower Namoi general security and 100 per cent for Upper Namoi general security have been made during the current water year, however additional water did not accrue to the Commonwealth account in the Lower Namoi as it was already at the maximum balance.
These allocations are significantly higher than the long-term average, which means that the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office has, like all other entitlement holders, substantial volumes of water available.
Allocation water can be used, traded or carried over to subsequent years depending on the nature of the source entitlement and the legal framework which applies to the management of Commonwealth environmental water.
Due to use limits, the total volume available in 2012-13 will be limited to 7.7 GL. This amount will be irrespective of whether additional allocations are received by the Commonwealth.
Water use options in 2012-13
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office has identified water use options for all water available to it in 2012-13 (7.7 GL), subject to seasonal and operational considerations. Further information on environmental water use options in the Namoi is available at Annual Water Use Options 2012-13: Namoi River Valley.
Trade in 2012-13
The Water Act 2007 provides for the trade of Commonwealth environmental water (allocations and entitlements) and specifies the conditions under which sales may occur. The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office does not currently plan to sell allocations in the Namoi catchment in 2012-13. The sale of allocations is accounted for as use, and the delivery of environmental water is expected to fully consume the available use limit.
If planned environmental use does not occur, the potential to sell allocations will be reassessed. However, given high water availability and all entitlement owners having high allocation it is not envisaged that sufficient demand would materialise in the short term. Accordingly it is not envisaged that the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will trade allocation in the short term.
Purchase of additional allocations could be pursued to assist in meeting environmental demands. However, this is not anticipated in the near future. Commonwealth Environmental Water Office needs to generate revenue from water sales in order to purchase water allocations (this has not yet occurred). Furthermore, any allocation purchase would be subject to a comparative analysis with other potential purchase options across the Murray- Darling Basin.
Occurrence, timing and volumes of trade would be informed by market conditions. Commonwealth Environmental Water Office would provide further information to the water market prior to undertaking any trading action.
Carryover into 2013-14
Given the high opening account balance in 2012- 13, and the limits on annual usage, it is forecast that opening balances in 2013-14 will be between 4.5 GL and the maximum carryover of 12.2 GL. Additional entitlements entering the Commonwealth's holdings may alter these figures.
Proportion of Namoi irrigation entitlements held by Commonwealth (by total long-term average annual yield)
Carryover of Commonwealth environmental water as a proportion of Namoi's major storage capacity