Overuse: Exceeding your water entitlement

Helping you ensure you only use water you're authorised to take

What is overuse and why is it a problem?

Overuse is when a customer has used more water than their entitlement of allocation allows.

Any water used in excess of entitlement means less water available for other entitlement holders.

If customers use more than their allocation, they are using someone else’s water. Put simply, it’s not fair and it’s also an offence under The Water Act, 1989.

Top tips to ensure you're avoiding overuse

There are many ways you can avoid using more water than your entitlement of allocation. These include:

  • Make sure you have enough water available in your Allocation Bank Account (ABA) and allow enough time for Allocation Trades to be processed.
  • Order your irrigations through WaterLINE.
  • Read your meters regularly and closely monitor your use against entitlement.
  • Check your current usage and entitlement figures regularly. They’re available on WaterLINE at any time or on request from your local GMW office during business hours for regulated water users.
  • If you are in any doubt, phone our Customer Call Centre on 1800 013 357.
What happens if I go into overuse?
  • You will receive a phone call or a letter advising you of the situation.
  • We understand overuse is most often unintentional and we’ll work with you to resolve the problem.
  • Overused allocation up to 1.0 ML can be carried forward into the next irrigation season as a negative balance in your ABA account.
  • However, it’s a serious issue, so customers with a negative ABA may have their access to the system restricted until their ABA returns to a positive balance.
  • To do this, water needs to be traded into the ABA to bring the balance back to a positive or zero.
Correcting overuse

Options to correct overuse include:

  • Those with high-reliability water share associated to another property can apply to have it linked to the allocation account in overuse. This is done by filling out a Form 40 – we can help you do this.
  • Trade allocation into the ABA in overuse.
  • For unregulated surface water diverters and groundwater users you can transfer unused entitlement.
Trading water allocation to your ABA

To trade water allocation to your ABA you can:

  • Purchase water from someone you know;
  • Transfer water from another property you own, or;
  • Purchase water through a water broker. Water broker information is available on our website.

The relevant forms can be found on the Water Register website at www.waterregister.vic.gov.au  and submitted to GMW.

Our Overuse Policy

To support water users not to exceed entitlement, we have an overuse policy. 

We share information about this regularly through customer newsletters and it can be accessed at any of our offices.

The Overuse Policy ensures customers using in excess of their entitlement, or allocation, are treated consistently and equitably.

It also requires customers to be responsible for ensuring they only use the volume of water they are authorised to take.

Our goal is always to work with you to resolve overuse issues.

Please remember it is an offence under the Water Act and when we can’t reach a resolution you may be subject to prosecution.

For more information and assistance

Please phone our Customer Call Centre on 1800 013 357 or email reception@gmwater.com.au

Information on your allocation is always available

Seasonal determination for irrigators on the gravity system are managed by the Resource Manager for Northern Victoria and regular updates can be found at www.nvrm.net.au

We also provide current advice and information for our diversions customers at our Diversions page.