Our water allocation trading strategy 2021-22 provides a high-level overview of the types of water trading activities that may be undertaken across Victoria and interstate in 2021-22.
Water allocation trade is one of the tools used to effectively manage environmental water. Water trading allows water to be moved to the systems where it is most needed, and to smooth out some of the variability in water availability across systems and across years.
This strategy covers both commercial water allocation trade (selling and purchasing water allocation), and administrative water transfers (‘internal’ transfers of Victorian Environment Water Holder (VEWH) allocation or transfers between water holders).
Environmental water availability is expected to be highly variable across the state in 2021-22, based on June 2021 climatic outlooks and carryover. Generally, average to wet conditions and associated inflows to storages will be required to increase water availability to moderate to high levels in the western and northern regions, as well as some catchments within the central region such as the Maribyrnong and Werribee. A dry winter-spring 2021 will likely see low to moderate supplies in these regions. If dry conditions persist in the western region there will only be enough supply to support critical environmental needs in the Wimmera and Glenelg systems. For Gippsland and most of the central region, a relatively wet 2020-21 means supply will be high and carryover can offset the impact of a dry 2021-22.
Opportunities to purchase allocation may be considered in the Maribyrnong system, depending upon assessment of seasonal conditions and environmental need. Opportunities to trade or transfer in the Wimmera-Glenelg system and across northern Victoria to increase supply may also be investigated, particularly if dry conditions occur in 2021-22.
The VEWH may consider selling part of its allocation in northern region systems if foreseeable environmental demands can be met. If this occurs, it would most likely be from summer 2021-22 onwards and be more likely following an average to wet winter-spring. The VEWH can also sell water to invest in complementary works, measures, technical studies or other priorities, where these projects optimise environmental watering outcomes for enduring benefit.
In 2021-22, the VEWH intends to implement a range of administrative transfers to facilitate the delivery of environmental water across Victoria and for carryover purposes. These transfers may include water held by other environmental water holders and other entities who may choose to partner with the environmental watering program for delivery of water. Administrative transfers will also be undertaken to transfer allocation available for use in the Snowy River.
For further information on environmental water trade, as well as where, when, how and why environmental water is being released in Victoria, visit www.vewh.vic.gov.au.