GMW releases water outlook for 2024

Thursday 14 December, 2023

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) has released its Annual Water Outlook, providing an overview of expected water availability for the next 12 months.

The outlook provides information to current and prospective water entitlement holders to help guide their planning for the months ahead.

During the 2022/23 water year (1 July 2022 – 30 June 2023), inflows were more than twice the long-term average at most GMW storages. Subsequently, there is currently plenty of water in reserve for entitlement holders.

The Bureau of Meteorology (The Bureau) has indicated the likelihood of above median rainfall in the GMW-region this summer is about 50 per cent.

Northern Victoria Water Resources Manager Dr Mark Bailey said this would likely see a decline in storage levels.

“During the summer months we generally see storage levels drop due to diminishing inflows and increasing demand for water,” he said.

“Therefore, while The Bureau is not predicting a particularly dry summer, we still expect water levels decrease.

“Similarly, it is also likely groundwater levels will decrease in the coming months, as customers begin extracting more.”

However, Dr Bailey said water entitlement holders were still in a strong position.

“In November 2023, all systems in our region reached 100 per cent of their high reliability water shares,” he said.

“For systems such as the Murray, Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon, which store enough water for multiple years of usage, this means they will likely start the 2024/25 water year in a good position.

“The Broken, Bullarook and Ovens systems will be more dependent on conditions closer to the start of the new water year, and it is too early to predict what these conditions might be.

“Likewise, several of the groundwater systems will require some rainfall to reach 100 per cent of their allocations during the 2024/25 water year.”

Despite a positive outlook on water availability for the next 12 months, Dr Bailey said GMW was continuing to plan for a future with more limited resources.

“While our region has experienced some significant rainfall events in the last couple of years, the long-term trends show the average inflows to our storages are decreasing,” he said.

“Through modernising its assets and improving its delivery network, GMW has helped ensure irrigation in northern Victoria remains sustainable.

“It is important that along with irrigators we continue to adapt to make the most out of every drop.”

 The Annual Water Outlook is available on the GMW website at: