About GMW

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Waterways and storages in northern Victoria map

GMW is a statutory Corporation constituted by Ministerial Order under the provisions of the Water Act 1989 (the Act). An Independent Board of Directors (the Board) governs GMW. The Board operates under part 6 of the Act and reports annually to the Minister for Water and the Treasurer.

We are ultimately accountable to the Minister for Water and have functions and powers under the Act to provide, manage and operate an irrigation district (pursuant to section 221 of the Act), a water district (pursuant to section 163 of the Act) and a waterway management district (pursuant to section 189 of the Act).

We are Australia’s largest rural water corporation and manage Australia’s largest irrigation delivery network. The irrigated agriculture sector in northern Victoria alone generates more than $6 billion of production value annually and directly supports over 10,000 jobs in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMID).

GMW manages water related services in a region of 68,000 square kilometres, bordered by the Great Dividing Range in the south and the River Murray in the north, stretching from Corryong in the east down river to Nyah. We have more than 20,000 customers using over 39,000 services in northern Victoria. We manage 24 water storages that can hold approximately 11 million ML of water and also have responsibility for managing more than 100,000 hectares of public land surrounding our storages.

GMW is the northern Victorian Resource Manager appointed by the Minister for Water and is responsible for making the seasonal determination for all northern Victorian declared water systems. GMW is a partner in the Victorian Water Register which manages more than $7 billion of water entitlements and over $300 million in water share and allocation trade for Victoria.

We are Victoria’s largest inland boating authority and manage boating and recreational activities across the majority of our storages. In addition, we service and supply a diverse range of urban Water Authorities, Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

GMW maintains recreational infrastructure and services and manages safe boating access at 14 of its 24 storages. The non-prescribed management portfolio includes 722 houseboat licences, 11 caravan park leases and 63 clubs. To varying degrees, all the dams managed by GMW are available to the public for recreational use such as boating, fishing and swimming. The 71 recreation reserves located around GMW and MDBA storages are funded by GMW, the MDBA and partly or fully by local Government.

We are also delivering the $2 billion Connections Project (the Project), funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth governments. This is the most significant upgrade to the region’s irrigation infrastructure in its 100-year history and is the largest irrigation modernisation project in Australia.

The Project will automate much of the water delivery network, replace ageing irrigation infrastructure, meet measurement compliance requirements and ensure equitable access to maintain the true value of water. The Project will also reduce the GMID footprint and make water use sustainable by preparing us for future challenges and opportunities. The project has created hundreds of jobs for local contractors, designers, manufacturers and other irrigation industry businesses.

As at 30 June 2020, GMW’s staff numbers include 552 people (in full time and part time roles). This includes Connections Project staff.

The following table details GMW's customer segments as at 30 June 2019.
Primary Service Segment* Example customers Number of customers* Revenue Annual Water Use**
Irrigation Horticulture, dairy, mixed farming 11,413 $93.1m 1,514 GL
Domestic and Stock Rural residential
Mixed farming
Intensive animal industries (eg. piggeries)
6,510 $3.3m 12.6 GL
Environmental watering Commonwealth and State environmental water holders 2 $10.4m 734 GL
Bulk water for urban and rural water supply Urban water corporations 12 $10.2m 642 GL
Water investment Investment funds
Agriculture corporations
975 $3.0m 15.8 GL
Flood protection Protection of land and property in flood protection districts 31 $0.009m 0.0 GL
Recreation Houseboat operators
Recreation clubs
805 $2.2m 0.2 GL
Commercial leasing Livestock graziers
Forestry corporations
Caravan parks
356 $2.6m 22.4 GL
Contract services Murray-Darling Basin Authority
Local government and catchment management authorities
Commercial contracts
10 $21.0m 0.0 GL
Power generation Hydroelectric power utilities 18 $2.9m 0.0 GL
Other Sundry customers 250 $0.4m 0.0 GL
TOTAL   20,382 $149.1m  2,941 GL

* The customer segments have been identified using a single customer view methodology that groups customers based on their primary need. For example, if a customer accesses a gravity irrigation service and a domestic and stock service, they are classified as in the irrigation segment if their gravity irrigation charges exceed their domestic and stock charges.
** For the 2017/18 period, as at 30 June 2018.

For more information about GMW, please refer to our most recent Annual Report. 

Details of Trades

Details of trades that Goulburn-Murray Water has been a party to are available from the Water Register Website. This is a requirement under section 12.38 of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.