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What is a delivery share?

A delivery share is an entitlement to have water delivered to land in an irrigation area. It gives access to a share of the available capacity in the channel or piped network that supplies water to an irrigation property.

Delivery shares provide the security of having water delivered when there is demand for water from other landholders on the channel or network. They are linked to fixed charges that must be paid regardless of water use.

Reviewing delivery share for northern Victoria

Delivery share arrangements were reviewed in 2017-18 as part of our work supporting irrigation communities adjusting to changes in climate, water availability and socio-economic impacts of water recovery under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

We found that, although they were working as intended, there was scope to adjust and strengthen delivery share arrangements. Opportunities for change reflect the significant and continuing changes in water and land use in our irrigation districts, providing new ways for irrigators and the rural water corporations to manage shared infrastructure.

The unique management of delivery shares in Sunraysia and Goulburn-Murray districts led to separate outcomes and actions being proposed to suit each region. These were published in individual reports in 2018.

Consulting and working together on solutions

After community consultation and targeted engagement with GMW and LMW customers, individual outcomes and actions were reported for each water corporation’s districts.

Consultation included:

  • three open community forums in Mildura, Kerang and Shepparton
  • workshops with irrigator committees
  • an active online portal providing information and asking for feedback through a detailed questionnaire
  • presentations and workshops for water corporation customer committees.

Active irrigators, industry groups and water corporation customer committees made 101 submissions to the review.

Community feedback led to further technical assessments and clear aims for improving delivery share arrangements in each irrigation region, supported by specific actions.

Delivering on the actions

All 31 actions recommended through the Delivery Share Review to improve delivery share arrangements in northern Victoria and help irrigation districts adapt to changing customer needs have now been implemented. This includes developing new spatial resources and capacity sharing tools that help irrigators to make informed decisions about their water access and investment.

We will ensure that irrigator’s voices will continue to be heard, with water corporations working closely with the community to respond to changing water delivery needs and emerging pressures. This is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to supporting a productive and profitable irrigation sector.


  • Delivering on the commitment that the irrigators’ share of benefits from water recovered by the GMW Connections Project would be returned to irrigators on the basis of delivery share. Find out more about the distribution of the irrigators share.
  • Integrating actions with steps underway in GMW’s transformation process, to ensure the objectives of the review are deeply embedded in the way irrigation infrastructure is managed and pricing decisions are made.
  • Managing demand bottlenecks in Sunraysia’s irrigation districts through verifying delivery capacity and matching against delivery share, facilitating trade and developing capacity sharing tools, ensuring irrigators have timely access to their delivery entitlements.

Delivery share review

Goulburn Murray Water’s irrigation districts

Delivery share requires Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) to maintain channel capacity and deliver water to more than 14,000 irrigation customers in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMID).

Further, the delivery share review set 6 outcomes to strengthen how delivery share works in the Goulburn Murray irrigation districts.

  1. Help irrigators adjust their delivery shares to give clearer signals for managing infrastructure to meet irrigation needs.
  2. Set tariff and pricing principles that help adjust the infrastructure footprint.
  3. Provide clear benefits in service and system operation for irrigators holding delivery shares.
  4. Improve information, communication and transparency about delivery shares.
  5. Ensure the clarity and transparency of GMW pricing.
  6. Capture delivery shares up front in property transactions.

There were 19 actions to help achieve all 6 outcomes set for the GMID. Actions either completed or made part of GMW’s normal operations include:

  • Three outcomes that work together to examine relationships between delivery share, infrastructure management, asset investment, service level and water use.
  • One outcome that explored pricing and revenue structures linked with delivery share, connected with GMW’s 2020-2024 price review.
  • Two outcomes that supply current information and build customer understanding on how delivery share is being used in the GMID.

  • 12 actions are fully completed and closed out
  • 5 actions are embedded into continuing business practices
  • 2 well-advanced actions are continuing with suitable project plans and resources.

Delivery share review outcomes report

Lower Murray's water irrigation districts

Changes in production systems and crop types and the expansion of diversion irrigation have increased water delivery requirements in the Lower Murray Water (LMW) districts.

Delivery share sets a minimum rate of water delivery that LMW provides over a 7-day period.

The Delivery Share Review set 4 outcomes to address community concerns about delivery share and increase growers’ confidence that they can access their water when they need it.

  1. Facilitate markets, products and trade in delivery share.
  2. Improve tools for managing system operation and deliverability constraints.
  3. Improve information, communication and transparency on delivery share.
  4. Strengthen and clarify overarching principles for delivery share and termination fees.

The review proposed 12 actions to deliver on these outcomes.

All 12 actions have either been completed or included in LMW’s business operations, in meaningful steps to support the four outcomes set by the review:

  • Three outcomes are designed to work in combination to produce the best delivery capacity and system operation, including exploring new approaches to managing demand peaks and supporting changing customer needs.
  • One outcome to make sure delivery costs, pricing and investment are managed transparently and effectively, supported by up-to-date information on water ownership and use.

Full information on each action put forward for the LMW districts is in the Lower Murray Water irrigation districts summary file.

  • 8 actions are fully completed and closed out
  • 2 actions are now embedded into ongoing business practices
  • 2 actions are continuing, following well-established project plans.

Delivery share review outcomes report

Page last updated: 08/09/23