The Monthly Water Report provides a summary of the status of Victoria's water resources and water supplies at the end of the reporting month. It is based on validated water resource information provided by Victoria's 19 Urban and Rural Water Corporations and the Bureau of Meteorology. Each month's report is published online the following month. For detailed, specific and up-to-date information, please contact the relevant Water Corporation or the Bureau of Meteorology. Links to these organisations are located within the Monthly Water Report.
State-wide, September rainfall was 34% below average. Rainfall in September was generally drier than average, particularly across the State's north and in areas north and west of Melbourne. It was wetter than average in the alpine areas to the east of Melbourne.
We are working on a new way to present the monthly streamflow update. While we do that please visit the Water Measurement Information System for up to date information on Victoria’s rivers and streams.
The total volume of water held in Victoria's major storages increased by 1.1 percentage point during September, ending the month at 52.4% of capacity. Decreases were recorded in 26 monitored storages and increases were recorded at 41 storages.
Groundwater is reported quarterly; this update is for the 1 July to 30 September quarter.
Of the 11 water supply protection areas:
- in the short term (<5 years) groundwater level trends were categorised as: declining for 6 areas, and stable for 5 areas when compared to levels recorded five years ago.
- the long term (>10 years) groundwater level trends were categorised as: rising for 2 areas, declining in 2 and stable in 7 areas (Figure 9 and Table 1) when compared to levels recorded ten years ago
Of the 44 groundwater management areas:
- in the short term (<5 years) groundwater level trends were categorised as: rising in 4 areas, declining in 21 areas and stable in 15 areas when compared to levels recorded five years ago.
- There was insufficient information (through a lack of State Observation Bore Network data) to determine a trend in the remaining 4 areas
- the long term (>10 years) groundwater level trends were categorised as: rising in 7 areas, declining in 9 areas and stable in 22 areas when compared to levels recorded ten years ago.
- There was insufficient information (through a lack of State Observation Bore Network data) to determine a trend in the remaining 6 areas
Urban water restrictions
As at end of September 2019, 6 towns were on stage 2 restrictions. Low storages in the Euroa and Sunday Creek systems in Goulburn Valley Water’s (GVW’s) area triggered GVW’s drought response plan in April and have remained in place since then. Stage 2 restrictions were implemented in Kilmore, Kilmore East, Wandong, Heathcote Junction, Euroa and Violet Town. All other towns are subject to Permanent Water Saving Rules.
This time last year all towns were subject to Permanent Water Saving Rules but no towns were on water restrictions.
Seasonal Allocation Determinations
Seasonal allocation determinations are made by the respective water corporation resource managers and are made effective in the Victorian Water Register by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
During September 2019, allocations for high-reliability water shares (HRWS) in the northern systems increased in the Murray, Goulburn, Loddon and Campaspe systems. The Broken System remained at 0% and Bullarook at 100%. In the south, allocations for high-reliability water shares increased to 100% in the Macalister Irrigation District. Allocations remained the same in the Werribee/Bacchus Marsh district reaching for high and low reliability water shares. The Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline Product also increased in the north-west, to 24%.
Restrictions on diversions
At the end of September, there were 23 unregulated streams subject to diversion restrictions across Victoria, the same as reported at the end of August 2019. This time last year, there were 44 waterways subject to restrictions.
Seasonal climate outlook
The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is neutral—neither El Niño nor La Niña. A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is likely to be the dominant climate driver for Australia's weather for the coming months.
The Bureau of Meteorology released its latest October to December outlook on 26 September 2019. The outlook indicates a drier and warmer than average end to the year is likely for much of Australia.
Water for the environment
The Victorian Environmental Water Holder's (VEWH) Seasonal Watering Plan 2019-20 is the major planning document for environmental watering in Victoria in the 2019-20 fiscal year. The plan is based on seasonal watering proposals developed by catchment management authorities and Melbourne Water in consultation with local communities and other partner agencies. The VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2019-20 and information on environmental water being delivered across Victoria can be found on the VEWH website.
Up to date information can be found on:
- the Victorian Water Register's website where all environmental water entitlements held by the VEWH can be searched; and
- DELWP's environmental entitlements webpage for general information.