The Protocol provides the community with greater confidence in the water attributed to irrigation modernisation projects such as the $2 billion GMW Connections Project.

Two independent auditors carry out audits as detailed in through an established audit process to ensure water savings estimates have been completed in accordance with the protocol.

Technical Manual

The Water Savings Protocol Technical Manual allows water savings to be calculated in a consistent and transparent manner, and meets the requirement that all water savings are independently audited.

The Technical Manual was accredited through an independent review by internationally-recognised water expert Dr Don Blackmore, who was the chief executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority for 15 years.

Version four of the Technical Manual incorporates changes recommended in the 2008–2009 independent audit of water savings and other changes to ensure the Technical Manual reflects the best available information and knowledge. Appendix 1 documents amendments made for version four of the Technical Manual.

The Protocol was developed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in collaboration with:

  • Goulburn-Murray Water;
  • The Goulburn Murray Water Connections Project,
  • Sourthern  Rural Water,
  • Lower Murray Water
  • Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water;
  • Irrigators,
  • Irrigation infrastructure experts; and
  • Other key stakeholders.

The guidelines in the Protocol are comparable to the methods originally used by the Murray-Darling Basin Commission to audit States' compliance with the Murray-Darling Basin Cap.

The Water Savings Protocol documents are available for: