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 2018/2019 audits of modernisation and purchases in Northern Victoria.  

The GMW Connections Project is modernising the water delivery systems in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District to achieve 429 gigalitres of long-term average annual 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 average annual water recovery for the GMW Connections Project to June 2019 is 378,074.1 megalitres (ML). The project and water recovery elements are as follows:

GMW CONNECTIONS PROJECT WATER RECOVERY ELEMENT

LONG-TERM AVERAGE ANNUAL WATER RECOVERY (ML)

Modernisation works water recovery

301,487.0

Low-reliability water share purchases

3,201.1

High-reliability water share purchases*

28,586.8

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

378,074.1

* Includes water shares recovered through GMW Connections, On-Farm Efficiency Program and the Campaspe Irrigation District closure confirmed in the 2012-13 audit and reconfirmed in the 2018-19 audit

** 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 2018-19 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 2018-19 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 2018-19 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.

2018-19 Independent Audit of Water Recovery

The eleventh independent audit of water recovery for Northern Victorian irrigation modernisation projects for the 2018-19 water year was undertaken between September and November 2019.

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

This year's audits of water entitlement purchases and water recovery were completed 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.

Click here to read the Audit of Irrigation Modernisation Water Recovery 2018-19 (PDF, 1.7 MB).

Click here to read the Audit of Water Entitlement Purchase 2018-19. (PDF, 575.2 KB)

Summary of audit findings

The following table summarises the water recovery achieved through irrigation modernisation works for the GMW Connections Project.

Project

Water recovery (ML)

For 2018-19

Long-term average annual water recovery

Total - GMW Connections Project

178,658.0

301,487.0

The GMW Connections Project has recovered 5,764.8 ML of low-reliability water shares (equivalent to a long-term average annual volume of 3,201.1 ML) and 29,801.5 ML of high-reliability water shares (equivalent to a long‑term average annual volume of 28,586.8 ML).

The Reconfiguration Project has recovered an additional 634.8 ML of high‑reliability water shares with a long-term average annual volume of 618 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 Project

5,680.6

3,161.5

10,068.9

9,785.2

Campaspe Irrigation District**

-

-

15,052

14,299.4

On-Farm Efficiency Program

-

-

4,397.4

4,264.0

Crown Shares65.338.1193.2186.9
Broken Shares18.91.690.051.3

Total Water Purchases – GMW Connections Project

5,764.8

3,201.1

29,801.5

28,586.8

Reconfiguration Project***

-

-

634.8

618.0

* Totals may not sum due to rounding.

** Water shares recovered through the closure of the Campaspe Irrigation District were confirmed in the 2012-13 audit and reconfirmed in the 2018-19 audit.

*** Purchases made under the Reconfiguration Project 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.
  • The auditor made a minor recommendation for the GMW Connections Project to review the process of documenting inspection test procedures, with regards to remote sign-off of works milestones and the clear identification of beneficial completion milestones for water recovery claims.
  • The audits did not identify any need to change the Water Savings Protocol.

Page last updated: 18/12/19