Distributing the irrigators’ share

Goulburn Murray irrigators should now prepare to receive their share in more than $300 million of water recovered by the Connections Project, with the irrigators’ share distribution tracking to schedule.

To receive their share on time, delivery shareholders in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District are urged to read through a new Customer Guide that outlines what benefits irrigators will receive and when, and what they need to do to prepare. The Guide can be found on GMW’s website.

The Connections Project – the largest irrigation modernisation project in Australian history – delivered works to achieve 429 gigalitres (GL) of long-term average annual yield (LTAAY) of water recovery in October last year.

Acting Water Minister Richard Wynne recently announced that the Project has completed works to exceed its target, providing an additional 2 GL, which will be distributed to GMID irrigators on top of the 75 GL already committed. Irrigators will receive a mix of high and low reliability shares which will equate to 77 gigalitres of long term annual average yield.

The Irrigators’ Share Consultative Committee (ISCC), appointed by the Minister for Water in mid-2019, recommended a distribution approach for the irrigators’ share to pass on the benefit to individual delivery share holders. The ISCC worked through a range of distribution options, as well as undertaking extensive consultation with the irrigation community in the GMID, before putting its recommendations to the Minister.

Minister Lisa Neville accepted the ISCC recommendations in October 2020 – that the irrigators will receive their share of water recovery either as water shares or financial benefit, in proportion to the volume of delivery share they hold:

  • Irrigators with 0.25 ML/day or more of delivery share, water shares will be issued in October 2021 along with any water allocations which would have accrued against these entitlements since July 2021.
  • Irrigators with less than 0.25 ML/day of delivery share, financial benefits equivalent to the value of water shares will be distributed as a credit on their GMW fixed charges bill in July 2022.

Who will receive a benefit?

At census date, scheduled for 12:01 am 1 October 2021, delivery share holders within any of the six areas of the GMID who contribute to the cost of operating and maintaining the GMID by paying the common Infrastructure Access Fee (IAF), are an eligible recipient and will receive a benefit.

It is important eligible delivery share holders make sure to account for the distribution of the irrigators’ share in any decisions they make around trading or terminating delivery share, or when buying or selling land in the GMID that has delivery share.

How much will delivery share holders get and when?

Those delivery shareholders who will receive water shares will have their entitlements issued between 16 and 31 October 2021, while delivery shareholders set to receive financial payment will receive their share of the benefit as a credit on their GMW fixed charges bill in July 2022.

Based on current data available, delivery shareholders are set to receive around 4 megalitres (ML) of high reliability water share and around 2 ML of low water reliability water share per 1 ML/Day of delivery share held.

The exact make-up of the irrigators’ share will be confirmed at census date,

Type of water share

Long-term water recovery per ML/day of delivery share (all trade zones)



LTDLE factor

Volume of water share per ML/day of delivery share*

LTDLE factor

Volume of water share per ML/day of delivery share*


3.86 ML


3.96 ML


3.99 ML


1.28 ML


2.36 ML


2.20 ML

* This is current estimates. The exact make-up of the irrigators’ share will be confirmed at census date.

For more information on why the water share volumes distributed in the Murray and the Goulburn systems are slightly different, read the Fact sheet – How the irrigators’ share of water recovered through modernisation the GMID is being calculated, audited and distributed.

What do delivery share holders need to do before census date?

If you are an eligible GMID delivery share holder, before census date scheduled for 12:01 am on 1 October 2021, this is what you need to do:

  1. Check your delivery share records – Make sure your details are accurate as water shares can only be issued when the names of the delivery share holders recorded in the Victorian Water Register are exactly the same as the landowners recorded in the land titles system
  2. Consider your options - You may wish to check or combine your delivery shares. You can find quantities listed on your 2020/21 fixed charges account under the Infrastructure Access Fee (IAF) total.
  3. Contact GMW - Contact GMW if you wish to update your billing address, or discuss your Delivery Share Entity/Land Ownership, Allocation Account or Water Use Licence ownership.

Further information

For more information about the distribution Irrigators’ Share Distribution, read the Frequently Asked Questions.

For information on the ISCC, including who was on the committee, how it consulted with the community, the full recommendation report and other information on the committee’s recommendation, go to Engage Victoria - Distributing the Irrigators' Share.

General information about the Connections Project, including what modernisation works have been undertaken and the steps underway to complete the water recovery, is available at the Connections Project website.

The amount of water recovered through the Connections Project is confirmed each year while works are underway through independent audits. Previous audit results are available online.

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like further information, you can contact the Irrigators’ Share Distribution project team

Page last updated: 30/06/21