Management of your Allocation Account (ABA)

This letter provides information on the 2019/20 annual allocation against your water shares and the outlook for the rest of the year. This letter is also relevant if you do not own water shares and buy temporary allocation to cover your water use each year.

Your obligation to always have a positive ABA Balance

Under the Victorian Water Act 1989 you must always keep a positive ABA balance. In the past you had 30 days to rectify any unauthorised use, but this no longer applies. It is a criminal offence to use water that is not in your ABA and penalties apply if you use water that is not in your ABA.

Allocation and the outlook for 2019/20

The Victorian Resource Manager announces changes to allocation on the first and 15th of each month.  On 16 March the allocation was 65% with an outlook of 45% for the full year under dry conditions.  Allocations for average, wet and extreme dry conditions are on the Victorian Resource Manager website:


If you do not own water shares, you will have no allocation and will need to buy allocation to ensure your ABA is always positive.

Plan now to keep a positive ABA

It is important to manage your water usage for the year if you haven’t already done so. Your plan must ensure your ABA is positive at all times.  For example:

  • If you own 10 megalitres of water shares with the current allocation of 26%, then you have 2.6 megalitres available in your ABA less any water used.
  • The current outlook is 5.5 megalitres for a dry year (55%), so if you think you are going to use more than 5.5 megalitres you would need to buy more allocation. How much and when you buy depends upon when you want to use the water.
  • If you don’t own water shares and plan to use water, you must buy water and have it available in your ABA before you use it.

Lower Murray Water’s role is to monitor compliance and to act to address any unauthorised use of water.  This may include lockdown and prosecution.

Please seek assistance if you need advice

If you need help with understanding your obligations or accessing your ABA balance, please call our Rural Customer  Team on 5051 3400 and select option 3.

Your water broker can give advice on how to buy allocation and water shares.