Summary of water recovery
The cumulative long-term annual average water recovery for the GMW Connections Project Stages 1 and 2 to date is 282,721.6 megalitres 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 savings
Low-reliability water share purchases
High-reliability water shares purchases*
Campaspe Irrigation District closure water savings**
East Loddon stock and domestic water supply system**
Estimated savings from other projects***
Total water recovery****
* 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 Cardno 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.
*** 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.
****Note, this figure does not include approximately 13,500 megalitres from projects that have been completed and are delivering savings but are in the verification process.
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.
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.
Water savings (ML)
Long-term annual average
GMW Connections Stage 1
GMW Connections Stage 2
Total - GMW Connections Stages 1 and 2
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:
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
Campaspe Irrigation District*
On-Farm Efficiency Program
Total Water Purchases – GMW Connections Stage 1
*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.