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.
Victoria's rainfall November was mostly close to average. November was wetter than average in the far southwest and the West Gippsland district, but drier than average in a few pockets across the northeast. State-wide, November rainfall was 15.0% below the long-term average of 52 mm.
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 decreased by 1.5 percentage points during November, ending the month at 49% of capacity. Decreases were recorded in 46 monitored storages and increases were recorded at 21 storages.
Groundwater is reported quarterly; this update is for the 1 July to 30 September quarter.The next update will be in the December 2019 report for the 1 October to 31 December 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 November 2019, two towns were on stage 2 restrictions and four were on stage 1 restrictions. On 7 November stage 2 restrictions were lifted in Kilmore, Kilmore East, Wandong and Heathcote Junction. Stage 2 restrictions remained in place for Euroa and Violet Town. On 21 November, Lower Murray Water implemented stage 1 restrictions in Mildura, Swan Hill, Kerang and Red Cliffs. All other towns were subject to Permanent Water Saving Rules in November.
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 November 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%. Allocations for high reliability water shares remained at 100% in the Macalister and Werribee/Bacchus Marsh districts. Low reliability water shares remained at 0% in the Macalister district, and increased to 60% in the Werribee/Bacchus Marsh district. The Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline Product also increased in the north-west, to 35%.
Restrictions on diversions
At the end of November, there were 73 unregulated streams subject to diversion restrictions across Victoria, 23 more than October. This time last year, there were 80 waterways subject to restrictions.
Seasonal climate outlook
The 26 November 2019 El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Wrap-Up reported that the ENSO Outlook was still inactive while the strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole continued to influence the climate of Australia and other parts of the globe
The Bureau of Meteorology released its December 2019 to February 2020 outlook on 28 November 2019, reporting that the next three months were likely to be warmer and drier than average 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.