Summary of water recovery

The cumulative long-term annual average water recovery for the GMW Connections Project Stages 1 and 2 to date is 296,933.6 megalitres per year. The project and water recovery elements are as follows:

GMW CONNECTIONS PROJECT WATER RECOVERY ELEMENTLONG-TERM ANNUAL AVERAGE WATER RECOVERY (ML)
Modernisation works water savings231,496
Low-reliability water share purchases3,527
High-reliability water shares purchases*27,751.60
Campaspe Irrigation District closure water savings**8,105
East Loddon stock and domestic water supply system**1,842
Swan Hill Modernisation Project***14,212
Estimated savings from other projects****10,000
TOTAL WATER RECOVERY296,933.60

* Includes water shares recovered through GMW Connections Stage 1, On-Farm Efficiency Program and closure of the Campaspe Irrigation District.  

** The closure of the Campaspe Irrigation District and the modernisation of the East Loddon stock and domestic water supply system were not audited in the 2016-17 GMW Connections Audit. However, they are part of the GMW Connections Project. The water savings for these projects have been estimated using water resource system modelling and were audited through a separate process.

*** Swan Hill Modernisation Project includes water savings associated with decommissioning Little Murray Weir (13,500 ML), evaporation savings from the lowering Little Murray Weir Pool (486 ML) and reduced losses on the No. 9 Channel (226 ML), these water savings will be formalised with amendments to the Bulk Entitlement (River Murray – Goulburn-Murray Water) 1999 due to commence in late 2018. These water savings have been estimated using water resource system modelling and were audited through a separate process.

**** Water savings from special projects are assessed and updated through the year. The estimated savings are subject to verification at the end of the project.

2016-17 Independent Audit of Water Recovery

The ninth independent audit of water recovery for Northern Victorian irrigation modernisation projects for the 2016-17 water year was undertaken between September and December 2017.

The audit covers irrigation modernisation works and water savings for the Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) Connections Project Stages 1 and 2, water entitlement purchases for the GMW Connections Project Stage 1 and Reconfiguration Project.

To streamline the audit process, this year's audit of water entitlement purchases and water savings were completed separately. Both audits were carried out by an independent auditor (Cardno (Qld) Pty Ltd).

The audit confirmed water savings estimated were accurate and in line with the Water Savings Protocol, and verified water purchases.

Audit of Irrigation Modernisation Water Recovery 2016/17 Irrigation Season (PDF, 5.5 MB) or Word version (DOCX, 5.8 MB)

Audit of Water Entitlement Purchases (GMW Connections) (PDF, 634.6 KB) or Word version (DOCX, 756.0 KB)

Summary of audit findings

The following table summarises the water savings achieved through irrigation modernisation works and water savings for the GMW Connections Project Stage 1 and 2.

Project

Water savings (ML)

For 2016-17

Long-term annual average

GMW Connections Stage 1

91,682

173,060

GMW Connections Stage 2

32,935

58,436

Total - GMW Connections Stages 1 and 2 

124,617

231,496

The GMW Connections Project Stage 1 has recovered 5,680.6 megalitres of low-reliability water shares (equivalent to a long-term average of 3,527 megalitres) and 29,515.1 megalitres of high-reliability water shares (equivalent to a long-term average of 27,751.6 megalitres).

The Reconfiguration Project has recovered an additional 640.0 megalitres of high-reliability water shares with a long-term average of 585 megalitres.

The auditor reviewed and accepted the volume of entitlement purchases outlined in the table below:

Project

Volume of low reliability water shares purchased (ML)

Long-term annual average from low reliability water shares (ML)

Volume of high reliability water shares purchased (ML)

Long-term annual average from high reliability water shares (ML)

GMW Connections Stage 1

5,680.6

3,527

10,065.7

9,233.7

Campaspe Irrigation District*

-

-

15,052

14,465

On-Farm Efficiency Program

-

-

4,397.4

4,052.9

Total Water Purchases – GMW Connections Stage 1

5,680.6

3,527

29,515.1

27,751.6

Reconfiguration Project**

-

-

640

585 

*Water shares recovered through the closure of the Campaspe Irrigation District were confirmed in the 2012-13 audit.

** Purchases made under the Reconfiguration Project do not contribute to the GMW Connections Project Water Recovery totals as they are residual purchases made under the Reconfiguration Project.

The auditor made a number of comments and recommendations regarding systems and processes, the most important of these are:

  • GMW has accurately calculated water recovery in line with the Water Savings Protocol Technical Manual (PDF, 2.1 MB)
  • GMW data collection processes continue to be sufficiently robust and inputs are as accurate as could reasonably be expected for the purpose of calculating water recovery.
  • The audit of water entitlement purchases identified an improvement in GMW's internal assurance practices. There were no recommendations proposed in the audit of water entitlement purchases.
  • Three recommendations around reviewing processes and systems were made in the audit of irrigation modernisation water recovery. Details of these recommendations can be found in the audit report [insert link to the audit]. GMW advised that during finalisation of the audit report that it had commenced addressing each of the recommendations.
  • The audits did not identify any need to change the Technical Manual beyond suggested updates currently progressing.