Diversions Customer Newsletter

Thursday 3 March, 2022

A message from Manager Diversions Peter Clydesdale.

Photograph of Steve Gemmill

Welcome to our autumn newsletter for diversions customers.

We hope that our new and more frequent e-newsletters are providing you with valuable information on how to manage your water and what’s on the horizon for the coming months.

Autumn is our peak water-ordering time, so we encourage our regulated diverter customers to take advantage of some features of our WaterLINE water ordering system.

As well as ensuring you are using the correct amount of water allocated to your licence, WaterLINE allows you to record your own meter readings and look at a summary of your water usage for the season.

This can help you plan for your water needs, as well as ensuring you’re meeting the requirements of your licence.

It also details how much of your allocation is remaining, which can assist in planning the use, trade or carryover of water into the 2022/23 season.

Our Customer Service Centres have now reopened, which means you can come see us if you need any assistance. Our staff are on hand to help with any query you may have - you can also reach us by phoning 1800 013 357, or by booking an appointment online with us.

We look forward to seeing you in person now that our offices are able to reopen.

Peter Clydesdale

Manager Diversions, GMW

 

Diversions Service Plan update

GMW is continuing to partner with customers in the development of our Service Plans which will outline how services are managed into the future.

The Diversions Service Plan engagement program is well under way with an online survey and series of focus groups held late last year. After reviewing the feedback, a series of workshops for diversions customers will be held during April/May 2022 to further inform the development of the Diversions Service Plan. More information on this engagement opportunity will be communicated closer to the time.

If you’d like more information on the engagement already undertaken as part of the service plans development, and the topline feedback received, please visit https://www.gmwater.com.au/service-plans

Groundwater licensing process

If you intend to take groundwater for irrigation or commercial/industrial purposes you will need to first make an application to GMW for a licence to construct works (a bore) for a licensable purpose. Once the works are installed you can then make application for a licence to take and use/operate works. Applications for a permanent or temporary transfer of licence volume can also be made at this time, or licence volume may be purchased directly from GMW at a set capital charge in some defined areas.

The risks of any application are considered by GMW and will depend on factors such as bore location, scale of proposed development, proximity to other water users or environmental features including waterways, and any management arrangements in place.

The GMW areaUnder the Water Act 1989, in our part of northern Victoria, GMW issues and administers groundwater licences on behalf of the Minister for Water.

These factors may affect the level of assessment required, and in some cases you may be requested to undertake a hydrogeological investigation and pumping test to allow GMW to appropriately consider any high risks identified.

An application to take and use groundwater is a significant undertaking with expected processing times ranging from three to six months, or longer if additional technical investigations are required to be completed by an applicant.

Anyone considering making application are encouraged to make contact with their local diversion inspector who can outline other specific requirements relevant to the property and your possible options.

If you have any questions about the licensing process GMW follows, please phone us on 1800 013 357.

Role of diversions inspectors

Our diversions team provides services to diverters throughout our entire 68,000km operational area, and private diverters account for more than 50 per cent of our customer base.

The team manages a range of rivers and creeks – both regulated and unregulated – and groundwater management areas.

A vital part of this role involves undertaking resource management and licensing activities for surface and groundwater systems in each region – this helps to ensure all licence holders have an equitable share of water.

Other responsibilities include preparing reports that underpin decision-making, planning diversions programs and projects, managing the installation and maintenance of meters, compliance functions, and liaising with customers, other organisations and members of the public to resolve service delivery issues.

Our friendly diversions operational team members are based at our Customer Service Centres across the region. You can find out what diversions zone you are in by going to our Diversions page.

All Diversions customer groups are represented by Regional Water Service Committees. These committees play a key role in ensuring local issues are raised with management; as well as contributing to GMW’s strategic planning initiatives.

East Region Diversion Inspectors

East Region Diversion map

West Region Diversion Inspectors

West Region Diversion map

Consider carrying over your unused water

Monday 28 February, 2022

As the end of the 2021/22 season approaches, it’s worth considering your water options.

Carryover allows regulated and groundwater diverters to take their unused water allocation into the next season in accordance with specific carryover rules for the system the allocation is held within.

Groundwater carryover works in much the same way as water entitlement carryover, although it is limited to a percentage of the licence volume in each area:

  • Mid Loddon GMA - 30%
  • Mid Goulburn GMA - 20%
  • Lower Campaspe Valley GMA - 25%
  • Loddon Highlands GMA - 15%

Unused allocation will automatically carry over as long as it is held in an allocation bank account (ABA) linked to your water shares or licence volume on 30 June 2022.

The Victorian Water Register’s carryover calculator is a helpful tool to understand how carryover rules work in northern Victoria and explore how carryover and allocations affect the amount of water available under your entitlements in different scenarios.

To discuss your carryover options, phone us on 1800 013 357.

More information can also be found here - https://www.g-mwater.com.au/customer-services/end-of-season/carrying-over-unused-allocation

Hazardous dams and La Nina alert

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) recently issued advice for La Niña. La Niña is a weather pattern that will most likely bring increased rainfall and increase the likelihood of widespread flooding. Intense rain events and flood events will lead to the rapid filling of dams, thereby increasing the risk of dam failure.

If you have a potentially hazardous dam, we are asking that you take some general precautions including inspecting and monitoring your dam, clearing spillways and outlet pipes to help pass flood water, and repairing any cracks and other defects.

As a reminder, a potentially hazardous dam is any dam on a waterway or a dam as described under Section 67 (1A) of the Water Act 1989. Your existing licence document will indicate if your dam is on or off a waterway.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has produced booklets, Your dam, your responsibility and Dam safety emergency plan, to assist farm dam owners understand their responsibilities for operating and maintaining farms on their properties. You can find them at the DELWP website.

Customers can also keep up to date with BOM’s alert system for La Niña and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation at the BOM website.

A dam on a still day with the reflection of a tree in it

Ordering water

A photo of a creekA reminder for our regulated diverter customers that they must order water before using it, and use must accurately reflect the flow rate and ordered duration. Without placing an order, you are taking water without authority and may be subject to penalties under the Water Act. It is illegal to take and use more water than allowed under your entitlement. Please ensure you have the right authorisations before taking water from a dam, bore, stream, river or creek.

Placing an order for water also means we are able to accurately account for how much water was used if a meter fails.

All regulated diversions customers have the ability to monitor their seasonal usage through WaterLINE. It also allows you to record your own meter readings and produce a Water Usage Statement that summarises water usage for the current season.

This report details your seasonal allocation, any movement of water in and out through trade; and how much is available allocation remaining to use, trade or carryover into the next season.

If you have lost or misplaced your User Number or PIN we can also assist you with resetting them.

If you haven’t used WaterLINE before please call the GMW Customer Experience Team on 1800 013 357 and we will connect you with your local Diversions Inspector who will help get you started or visit https://www.gmwater.com.au/waterline

Rosters and restrictions

Photo of a riverGMW monitors flow in unregulated streams and implements rosters and restrictions when flow decreases below minimum volumes. You are required by your licence conditions to take water in accordance with any rosters and restriction notifications for your stream. It is an offence to take and use water at a level exceeding any roster or restriction.

GMW’s Rosters and Restrictions webpage provides information for unregulated customers to review the status of their stream at any time. Select a region or catchment, select a stream and view any current restrictions on unregulated water access.

Stream minimum flow requirements are detailed in Unregulated Streams Local Management Rules where a streamflow management plan is in place.

Streams that do not have a specific Local Management Rule have a minimum threshold of three megalitres per day applied. For more information about specific streams, please contact your local Diversion Inspector on 1800 013 357.

Water use compliance

In August 2019, Victoria passed the Water and Catchments Legislative Amendment Act 2019 (Amendment Act) that strengthens penalties and enforcement measures and makes it easier to prosecute offences. The Amendment Act has:

  • increased the maximum fine for intentional water theft and related offences if they cause substantial harm, to $990,000 for companies and $198,000 for individuals,
  • allowed for the suspension or cancellation of licences for taking water and works, and
  • enabled water corporations to issue penalty infringement notices for less serious offences.

With tougher penalties and new enforcement measures, the Amendment Act makes it clear offences such as misuse of water or water theft will be addressed seriously.

New penalty infringement notices for water theft and other offences

New regulations are in place to enable GMW to fine water users for water theft and other offences by issuing penalty infringement notices (PINs).

These are in place as part of Victoria’s Zero Tolerance to Unauthorised Take of Non-Urban Water, which supports equity of access to our limited water resources. Ensuring that everyone adheres to the terms of their water entitlements protects those who are doing the right thing.

GMW is proactively monitoring customer account balances, identifying even small volumes of water theft and enabling a swift compliance and enforcement response.

Under the Water Act 1989 (the Act), you are responsible for adhering to the conditions of your licence. While most people are responsible and abide by their licence conditions, each year a small number of users break the law.

Water theft affects everyone in your community and it is important that individual water users do not adversely impact other users or Victoria’s environmental values.

Be aware that from 2022 you may be fined if you do not follow the terms of your licence and adhere to your entitlement.

More information can be found at https://www.gmwater.com.au/compliance

General information

Key GMW services

Decorative Icon with text MyGMWMyGMW - Manage your GMW account online, any time and anywhere, through our secure online portal MyGMW.

Access MyGMW

Decorative Icon SMS in speech bubble SMS - The Start and Stop SMS service enables you to receive reminders of when your water order is to start and stop.

SUBSCRIBE TO SMS

Decorative Icon SMS in speech bubbleOur Dams Email - Our dams email provides water storage and dam levels straight to your inbox on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

SUBSCRIBE

 

Storage levels and inflows

 

EILDON

77.45%

Previous Levels

83.3%
79.3%
77.3%
77.5%
Feb Mar Apr May

Here’s a snapshot of some of our major storages and storage levels as at February 2022. You can access up-to-date volume level of all lakes, reservoirs and dams managed by GMW at any time. 

View Current Storage Levels

Your Say @ GMW

It is important that we regularly engage with you, our customers, on topics that matter to you.

Our 2022 Customer Engagement Program includes online webinars, seminars, events and surveys. We want your input, knowledge, thoughts and advice.

Visit www.g-mwater.com.au/your-say-at-gmw  to register for the latest events and webinars and to find out which projects and topics we’re engaging on with our customers, stakeholders and communities throughout 2022.

Update your details

It’s important we have your details up to date to ensure you receive all the latest news, incident and service interruption information and account reminders from GMW. This includes your address, mobile number and email address.

You can update your details online at www.gmwater.com.au/updateyourdetails or call the GMW Customer Experience Team for assistance.

Payment options

GMW has a number of flexible payment options available to assist customers in managing their bills.

These include:

  • instalment options
  • early payment discounts
  • flexible payment plans; and
  • payment extensions.

Our team is committed to working with customers to manage their bills.

For more information visit www.g-mwater.com.au/customer-services/manage-my-account/payment-assistance or phone the GMW Customer Experience Team on 1800 013 357.

Water quality

Water provided by GMW has not been treated for human consumption.

Compliance and water theft

It’s illegal to take and use more water than allowed under your entitlement. Whenever a little more water is taken than is allowed, it can easily add up and there is limited water to go around. Water theft affects everyone in our community and it is important that individual water users do not adversely impact other users or Victoria’s environmental values. Individual water users should make sure they have the right authorisations before they take water from a dam, bore, stream, river, creek or irrigation channel.

A zero-tolerance to water theft provides equity of access to limited water resources and protects those who are doing the right thing. If you see something, say something. To report an alleged breach/offence, phone us on 1800 013 357. For more information on compliance and enforcement at GMW visit www.gmwater.com.au/compliance.

 

Talk to us

8 am to 4.45 pm, Monday to Friday

1800 013 357

For all emergencies

24 hours, 7 days a week

1800 064 184

Subscribe to our emails

For the latest news and updates

Subscribe