2015-16 Independent Audit of Water Recovery

The eighth independent audit of water recovery for Northern Victorian irrigation modernisation projects for the 2015-2016 water year was undertaken between September and December 2016.

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 2015/16 Irrigation Season (PDF, 5.3 MB)
Audit of Irrigation Modernisation Water Recovery 2015/16 Irrigation Season (accessible) (DOCX, 1.3 MB)

Audit of Water Entitlement Purchases (GMW Connections) (PDF, 647.8 KB)
Audit of Water Entitlement Purchases (GMW Connections) (accessible) (DOCX, 688.9 KB)

Summary of audit findings

1. Water savings achieved

ProjectWater savings (ML)
For 2015–2016Long-term annual average
GMW Connections Stage 1104576170177
GMW Connections Stage 22638140287
Total - GMW Connections Stages 1 and 2 130957210464

2. Water entitlement purchases

The GMW Connections Project Stage 1 has recovered 4,983.6 megalitres of low-reliability water shares and 28,875.6 megalitres of high-reliability water shares.

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:

ProjectLow-reliability water share (ML)High-reliability water share (ML)
GMW Connections Stage 14983.69426.2
Campaspe Irrigation District*-15052
On-Farm Efficiency Program-4397.4
Total Water Purchases – GMW Connections Stage 14983.628875.6
Reconfiguration Project-640

*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. 

3.  GMW Connections Stage 1 and 2 total volume of water recovery (water savings and entitlement purchases)

The cumulative long-term annual average water recovery for the GMW Connection Project Stages 1 and 2 to date is 250,650 megalitres/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 savings210464
Low-reliability water share purchases3072
High-reliability water shares purchases*27167.49
Campaspe Irrigation District closure water savings**8105
East Loddon stock and domestic water supply system**1842
Total Water Recovery 250650.5

*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 2015/16 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.

4. System and processes

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 recoveries.
  • The audit of water entitlement purchases identified an improvement in GMW's record keeping associated with water entitlement purchases.
  • There are no grounds for making recommendations regarding updating the Technical Manual beyond suggested updates currently progressing.
  • GMW should ensure that is puts in place strong controls over the quality of work pack information received from contractors under its new delivery model.
  • Actions taken on previous audit recommendations have been satisfactory.