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, rainfall was 20% below the long-term July mean of 70 mm. Rainfall in July 2019 was lower than average in parts of east, central and northwest Victoria, while several areas in the west of the State recorded above average rainfall.
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 4.4 percentage points during July, ending the month at 45.9% of capacity. Decreases were recorded in 6 monitored storages and increases were recorded at 61 storages.
Groundwater is reported quarterly; this update is for the 1 April to 30 June quarter.
Of the 11 water supply protection areas:
- in the short term (<5 years) groundwater level trends were categorised as: declining for six, and stable for five when compared to levels recorded five years ago.
- the long term (<5 years) groundwater level trends were categorised as: rising for three, declining for four and stable for four (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 two areas, declining in 22 areas and stable in 16 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 four areas
- the long term (<5 years) groundwater level trends were categorised as: rising in two areas, declining in 12 areas and stable in 23 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 seven areas
Urban water restrictions
As at end of July 2019, six 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 Korumburra was the only town with restrictions in place (Stage 3), however these restrictions were lifted on 9th July 2018
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 Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Goulburn Murray Water opened the year with low allocations for high reliability water shares for Murray, Goulburn and Broken all between zero and eight per cent and Campaspe at 31%. Bullarook has begun the year with 100% allocation of both high and low reliability water shares. Southern Rural Water issued 70% allocation for high reliability water shares for both Macalister and Werribee irrigation districts.
Glenelg Wimmera-Mallee Water opened the year with zero percent allocation, and Coliban with 100%.
Restrictions on diversions
At the end of July, there were 50 unregulated streams subject to diversion restrictions across Victoria. This is 12 less than reported at the end of June. This time last year, there were 70 waterways subject to restrictions.
Seasonal climate outlook
The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is neutral—neither El Niño nor La Niña. Models indicate the tropical Pacific is very likely to remain ENSO-neutral for the remainder of 2019. With ENSO playing less of a role, 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 August to October outlook on 25 July 2019. The outlook indicates large parts of Australia are likely to be drier than average.
Water for the environment
The Victorian Environmental Water Holder's (VEWH) Seasonal Watering Plan 2018-19 is the major planning document for environmental watering in Victoria in the 2018-19 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 2018-19 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.