Victoria’s new ‘place of take approvals’ framework is now in effect, bringing more certainty and flexibility for water users in declared Broken, Bullarook, Campaspe, Goulburn, Loddon, Murray, Ovens, Thomson-Macalister and Werribee systems.
These changes have been introduced in response to increasing delivery risks in the Murray River system downstream of Barmah, where the ‘Barmah Choke’ or ‘narrows’ is reducing in capacity and changing demands for water are making it harder for river operators to deliver water where and when people need it. The new framework ensures clear arrangements are in place for managing delivery risks for all declared systems should they occur in the future.
The changes make extraction share – the river diverters’ right to a share of water available in a shortfall – an enduring right. In systems with the highest shortfall risk – the Murray downstream of Barmah and the Ovens-King system, extraction share volumes have been capped to protect existing rights.
Existing water users with approval to take water have been issued ‘general place of take approvals’ that maintain their existing rights to take and use water under the new framework.
They will receive a letter from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action advising them of the change.
More information about the new framework can be found on the Victorian Water Register website www.waterregister.vic.gov.au.