Groundwater Capital Charge

What is capital charge entitlement?

Groundwater licence entitlement sourced under the capital charge provision is a one-off charge per megalitre per year (ML/yr) where space is available under management area groundwater caps. The Capital Charge is a fee for the sale of licence entitlement under the Water Act 1989.

The fee charged for entitlement secured under this provision is considerate of the market value of groundwater within an area, which is reflective of the water quality and water yield.

See the below sections for more information.

If you require assistance or have any questions, please phone us on 1800 013 357.

 

The majority of the Goulburn-Murray Water’s region is managed under groundwater management units (GMUs).  Each of these GMUs has been assessed hydrogeologically and sustainable caps for total groundwater entitlement have been established.  If the total currently held entitlement is lower than a GMU cap then a landowner or occupier can apply for to purchase groundwater entitlement subject to normal application assessment requirements and payment of the capital charge. Table 1 (under the  Where is groundwater entitlement available under capital charge? section) provides a list of GMUs, and where water is currently available under capital charge.

If the total volume of groundwater entitlement held in a GMU is equal to the cap then entitlement can be traded (either temporary or permanent) from another licence holder in accordance with the trading rules that apply to the GMU.

 
 

In general, new licence entitlement for groundwater is not available within Water Supply Protection Areas (WSPAs), or where the current licence entitlement is nearly equivalent to the applicable cap.

Table 1 below shows the areas where additional groundwater licence entitlement is available (at the time of publication) and the associated Groundwater Sustainable Diversion Limit (as determined by the Murray Darling Basin Authority). 

Table 1: Groundwater Management Unit within GMW and the availability of additional groundwater entitlement*

Groundwater Management Unit Groundwater Management Zone Additional Groundwater Entitlement Available MDBA Groundwater Sustainable Diversion Limit Zone
Loddon Highlands WSPA Mollongghip No Goulburn Murray Highlands
Blampied No Goulburn Murray Highlands
Newlyn No Goulburn Murray Highlands
Ullina No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain, Goulburn Murray Highlands
Ascot No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain, Goulburn Murray Highlands
Waubra No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain, Goulburn Murray Highlands
Talbot No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain, Goulburn Murray Highlands
Mid Loddon GMA    Jarklin No  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain
 Laanecoorie-Serpentine No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain 
 Moolort No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain 
Lower Campaspe WSPA    Barnadown No  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain 
Elmore No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain  
Bamawm  No  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain  
Echuca  No  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain  
Central Vic Mineral Springs GMa Campaspe No Goulburn Murray Highlands
Coliban Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands
Loddon No Goulburn Murray Highlands
West Goulburn GMA     Kyabram  No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain 
Puckapunyal Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands
Cornella  Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands 
Corop  Yes  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain  
Mid Goulburn GMA   Kialla  No  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain  
Nagambie No  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain  
 Katunga WSPA   North Western Dryland  No  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain  
Numurkah-Nathalia  No  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain  
Cobram  No  Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain  
Shepparton Irrigation Region GMA N/A Yes Goulburn Murray Shepparton Irrigation Region
Strathbogie GMA      Castle  No  Goulburn Murray Highlands 
Honeysuckle  Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands 
Hughes  Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands  
Pranjip  Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands  
Seven  No  Goulburn Murray Highlands  
Whiteheads Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands  
Upper Goulburn GMA         Yarck  Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands   
Home No  Goulburn Murray Highlands  
Goulburn Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands   
Snobs Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands   
Rubicon Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands   
Acheron Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands   
Lower Yea Yes  Goulburn Murray Highlands   
Upper Yea No   Goulburn Murray Highlands   
King Parrot No  Goulburn Murray Highlands   
Eildon GMA Eildon Northern Highlands Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands
Alpine Southern Highlands Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands
Broken GMA Broken Sedimentary Plains No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain
Broken Highlands Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands
Lower Ovens GMA Murray No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain
Ovens Plain No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain
Mid Ovens No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain
Bedrock No Goulburn Murray Highlands
Barnawatha GMA N/A Yes Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain
Kiewa GMA Kiewa Valley Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands
No Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain
Running Creek No Goulburn Murray Highlands
Yackandandah No Goulburn Murray Highlands
Upper Ovens WSPA Zone 1: Unconsolidated Sedimentary Aquifer No Goulburn Murray Highlands
Zone 2: Fractured Rock Aquifer No Goulburn Murray Highlands
Upper Murray GMA Hume Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands
Dartmouth Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands
Indi Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands
Unincorporated N/A Yes Goulburn Murray Highlands
N/A Yes Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain

  *Correct at the time of publication

In addition to the GMUs listed above.  Application may also be made for new groundwater licensed entitlement from the area in which GMUs currently do not apply.  These include the areas around Bendigo, to the West of Inglewood in the West of our region and the area east of Wodonga to Brimin in the northern part of the Ovens Valley.

The areas relating to the different zones were groundwater under capital charge is available and is shown below in Figure 1. The map also shows the SDL zones with the defined areas overlain.

To confirm the availability of groundwater capital entitlement; or to get more information; you are encouraged to contact GMW on 1800 013 357.

Figure 1 - Click to enlarge

GMW Capital Charge Areas

The two charges that apply to the groundwater capital charge reflect the specific location of the application, the quality extracted, the need to treat of blend the groundwater with surface water; and the market value of the resource.

For applications in the Sedimentary Plains to depths of 25 meters, GMW has recognised that there is value in extracting entitlement to help manage localised saline water tables. Therefore a decision was made to apply the same benefits as those afforded to the Shepparton Irrigation Region GMA.

Applications for capital charge groundwater entitlement in the Sedimentary Plains from depths greater than 25 meters takes into account the quality of the resource. If the water quality has a salinity reading of 4,800EC or above, the charge applied per ML is $180. This is intended to reflect that the water is of poor quality and will need to be treated at additional cost; or blended with an alternative source such as surface water.

Where entitlement is intended to be extracted below 25 meters and the water quality is less than 4,800EC a rolling two year average market price of groundwater will be applied. GMW will review the rolling average each year.

The capital charge applicable to each area and the relative salinity considerations is shown below in Table 2.

Table 2 

MDBA Groundwater Sustainable Diversion Limit Zone * Depth of Bore (m) Electro-conductivity (µS/cm) Cost per ML of Licence Volume ($)
Goulburn Murray Highlands N/A N/A 180
Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain ≤25 N/A 0
Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain >25 <4,800 1,400
Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain >25 >4,800 180

 

You may also apply for a licence from any bore across GMWs region constructed greater than 200m in depth, however if you wish to do consider this option you should consult with GMW to discuss your requirements. 

 

GMW encourages prospective applicants to discuss their intensions with them prior to making application. GMW can provide you with information that will help inform your decision to proceed.

Applications for water at depths greater than 25 meters will require an independent water test to be completed to confirm whether the quality is higher than the 4,800EC threshold.

Groundwater flowchart

To learn more about groundwater capital entitlement please contact GMW on 1800 013 357.