Each year the water recovered under the GMW Connections Project is independently audited to ensure it is being estimated correctly in line with the Water Savings Protocol. This page provides the outcomes from the 2017/2018 audits of modernisation and purchases in Northern Victoria.  

The GMW Connections Project Stage 1 and Stage 2 is modernising the water delivery systems in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District to achieve 429 gigalitres of long-term annual average water recovery. The contracted water recovery from Stage 1 is to be distributed equitably between the irrigators, Melbourne retailers and the environment. The contracted water recovery for Stage 2 has been issued to the Commonwealth as part of Victoria's Murray-Darling Basin Plan water recovery targets. For more information about the GMW Connections Project see the Water for Agriculture page.

Summary of GMW Connections Project water recovery

The cumulative long-term annual average water recovery for the GMW Connections Project Stages 1 and 2 to June 2018 is 344,438.1 megalitres (ML) per year. The project and water recovery elements are as follows:

GMW CONNECTIONS PROJECT WATER RECOVERY ELEMENT

LONG-TERM ANNUAL AVERAGE WATER RECOVERY (ML)

Modernisation works water recovery

268,349

Low-reliability water share purchases

3,526.2

High-reliability water share purchases*

27,763.7

Campaspe Irrigation District closure water recovery**

8,105

East Loddon stock and domestic water supply system**

1,842

Swan Hill Modernisation Project***

14,212

Greens Lake Water Savings Project****8,300
Third Reedy Lake Bypass Project*****2,340.2

Estimated recovery from other projects******

10,000

TOTAL WATER RECOVERY

344,438.1

* 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 2017-18 GMW Connections Audit. However, they are part of the GMW Connections Project. The water recovery for these projects has been estimated using water resource system modelling and audited through a separate process.

*** Swan Hill Modernisation Project includes water recovery associated with decommissioning Little Murray Weir (13,500 ML), reduction in evaporation losses from lowering Little Murray Weir Pool (486 ML) and reduced losses on the No. 9 Channel (226 ML). Water recovery has been estimated using water resource system modelling and audited through a separate process. The Swan Hill Modernisation Project also includes water recovery that is subject to annual audit, which in future years will be included in audit totals.

**** The Greens Lake Water Savings Project was not audited in the 2017-18 GMW Connections Audit. However, it is part of the GMW Connections Project. The water recovery for this project was estimated using water resource system modelling and audited through a separate process.

***** The Third Reedy Lake Bypass Project was not audited in the 2017-18 GMW Connections Audit. However, it is part of the GMW Connections Project. The water recovery for this project was estimated using water resource system modelling and audited through a separate process. The Third Reedy Lake Bypass Project also includes water recovery that is subject to annual audit, which in future years will be included in audit totals.

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

2017-18 Independent Audit of Water Recovery

The tenth independent audit of water recovery for Northern Victorian irrigation modernisation projects for the 2017-18 water year was undertaken between October and December 2018.

The audit covers irrigation modernisation works and water recovery 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.

Residual recovery from the Shepparton Irrigation Area Modernisation Project (SIAMP) and the Central Goulburn 1234 Project (CG1234) was also audited this year. This recovery does not contribute to the GMW Connections Project water recovery targets, as they contribute to recovery under CG1234 and SIAMP, the projects that completed the works.   

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

The audit confirmed that estimated water recovery was accurate and in line with the Water Savings Protocol and verified water purchases.

Audit of Irrigation Modernisation Water Recovery 2017-18 (PDF, 3.6 MB)

Audit of Water Entitlement Purchase 2017-18 (PDF, 613.9 KB)

Summary of audit findings

The following table summarises the water recovery achieved through irrigation modernisation works for the GMW Connections Project Stages 1 and 2 and the residual recovery from CG1234 and SIAMP, verified in the 2017-18 audit.

Project

Water recovery (ML)

For 2017-18

Long-term average annual

GMW Connections Stage 1

125,462

182,703

GMW Connections Stage 2

57,926

85,646

Total - GMW Connections Stages 1 and 2

183,388

268,349

SIAMP & CG1234*

1,344

2,194

* Water recovery under SIAMP and the CG1234 Project does not contribute to the GMW Connections Project water recovery totals as they are residual volumes recovered under other projects.

The GMW Connections Project Stage 1 has recovered 5,680.6 ML of low-reliability water shares (equivalent to a long-term average of 3,526 ML) and 29,528 ML of high-reliability water shares (equivalent to a long‑term average of 27,763.7 ML).

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

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 average annual from low reliability water shares (ML)

Volume of high reliability water shares purchased (ML)

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

GMW Connections Stage 1

5,680.6

3,526

10,078.6

9,245.8

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

3,526

29,528

27,763.7

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 (PDF, 2.4 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.
  • There were no recommendations proposed in the audit of water entitlement purchases, but a note was made clarifying which entitlement information should be provided for the audit. Details of this note can be found in the audit report (PDF, 613.9 KB).
  • One recommendation around tracking works for water recovery calculations was made in the audit of irrigation modernisation water recovery. Details of this recommendation can be found in the audit report (PDF, 3.6 MB). GMW Connections Project advised that during finalisation of the audit report that it had commenced addressing this recommendation.
  • The audits did not identify any need to change the Water Savings Protocol.

Page last updated: 14/10/19