Australian Water Information Dictionary

Alphabetical list of items

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W

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The liquid that descends from clouds as rain and forms streams, lakes, groundwater aquifers and seas. Water is a chemical compound comprising two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. Water may exist in solid, liquid or gaseous form.

This definition applies to:

The physical abstraction of water from a water resource for use. It excludes in-system uses of water and results, at least temporarily, in a depletion of the resource. Unless water is abstracted illegally, it is abstracted under a water right. In case the right specifies a volume of water that the water provider is liable to deliver to the water user, the exercise of the right through the abstraction effectively decreases the water liability of the provider.

Related: water take

This definition applies to:

A right that defines the location and conditions (e.g. rate) of the water abstraction.

This definition applies to:

A perpetual or ongoing entitlement to exclusive access to a share of water from a specified consumptive pool as defined in the relevant water plan.

Source: Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative Schedule B(ii)

Equivalent: water market equivalent terms

This definition applies to:

A transaction to transfer a water access entitlement from one legal entity to another, with or without a change in location, perpetually or for a specified term (i.e. lease).

Equivalent: water market equivalent terms

This definition applies to:

Water right types as defined in State and Territory legislation which includes bundled and unbundled water rights and bulk water access entitlements.

Equivalent: water market equivalent terms

This definition applies to:

The share, nominal volume or extraction rate associated with a water access entitlement.

This definition applies to:

A perpetual or ongoing entitlement to exclusive access to a share of water from a specified consumptive pool as defined in the relevant water plan

This definition applies to:

The total quantity of water access entitlements granted by State and Territory government water agencies which are in effect at a given point in time.

This definition applies to:

Water access licence means an access licence referred to in section 56 of the Water Management Act 2000 (New South Wales)

This definition applies to:

Water access right: (a) any right conferred by or under a law of a State to do either or both of the following: (i) to hold water from a water resource or (ii) to take water from a water resource and (b) without limiting paragraph (a), includes the following rights of the kind referred to in that paragraph: (i) stock and domestic rights, (ii) riparian rights, (iii) a water access entitlement or (iv) a water allocation and (c) includes any other right in relation to the taking or use of water that is prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph.

Source: Water Act 2007 Part 1 Section 4

This definition applies to:

A systematic process of identifying, recognising, quantifying, reporting and assuring information about water, the rights or other claims to that water and the obligations against that water.

This definition applies to:

The specific principles, bases, conventions, rules and practices applied in the preparation and presentation of water accounting reports.

This definition applies to:

Either a general purpose water accounting report or a special purpose water accounting report.

This definition applies to:

Comprise the Statement of Water Assets and Water Liabilities, the Statement of Changes in Water Assets and Water Liabilities, and the Statement of Physical Water Flows.

This definition applies to:

An Act of Parliament that commenced on 3 March 2008 and implemented key reforms for water management in Australia.

Source: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Series/C2007A00137

Related: Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric

This definition applies to:

There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

The specific volume of water allocated to water access entitlements in a given water year or allocated as specified within a water resource plan.

Source: Adapted from the Water Act 2007 Part 1 Section 4

Synonym: allocation

Equivalent: water market equivalent terms

This definition applies to:

Context 2

The specific volume of water allocated to water access entitlements in a given season, given accounting period, defined according to rules established in the relevant water plan.

This definition applies to:

A transaction to transfer a water allocation from one legal entity to another, with or without a change in location, for the remaining water year (by default) or for a specified term that may be less than the end of the water year or carried over to subsequent years (i.e. lease).

Equivalent: water market equivalent terms

This definition applies to:

Water, or the rights or other claims to water, which the water report entity either holds, or for which the water report entity has management responsibilities and from which an individual or organisation that is a water report entity, or a group of stakeholders of a physical water report entity, derives future benefits.

This definition applies to:

Decreases in physical and non-physical water assets due to claims, natural processes or diversions etc.

This definition applies to:

Increases in physical and non-physical water assets due to claims, natural processes or diversions etc.

This definition applies to:

The portion of a water resource that can be abstracted, as determined by the total water resource and the rights to abstract water from that water resource.

This definition applies to:

There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

For surface water, it is the total water in the connected surface water store deducted from the water that has to remain in channel (to satisfy economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes), according to the jurisdictional water legislation. For groundwater, it is equivalent to the physical groundwater asset.

This definition applies to:

Context 2

For surface water, it is the total water in the surface water store deducted from the water that has to remain in channel (to satisfy economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes), according to the jurisdictional water legislation. For groundwater, it is equivalent to the physical groundwater asset.

This definition applies to:

The flow of water in and out and changes in storage of a surface water system, groundwater system, catchment or specified area over a defined period of time.

This definition applies to:

A distribution point for a water service provided to an end user.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Regulation 1.03

This definition applies to:

The cyclic movement of water on, above and below the surface of the earth.

This definition applies to:

WDTF is an XML data transfer format designed to support the water industry to share and deliver water data to the Bureau as required under the Water Regulations 2008.

This definition applies to:

There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

A right to have water delivered by an infrastructure operator.

Source: Water Act 2007 Part 1 Section 4

This definition applies to:

Context 2

A right to have water delivered by a water corporation and a share of the available flow in a delivery system.

This definition applies to:

The height of water in a water storage at a particular time and date measured from the minimum supply level. See the water storage diagram for more information.

This definition applies to:

Surface water assets that relate to water held in utility networks, including water in artificial channels, pipes (above or below the surface of the earth) and storages that are part of water distribution or collection infrastructure. The water distribution system consists of two separate systems: the urban water distribution system, and the irrigation distribution system.

This definition applies to:

Besides natural accidental outflows, decreases are constituted by the return of used water to the natural system, either within the physical boundaries of the region or directly out of them, as well as water transferred-out (result of trade or other agreement).

This definition applies to:

Increases are constituted by the water abstracted from either the groundwater or the surface water stores or by water transferred-in (desalination water, result of trade or other agreement), and in addition, infiltration of groundwater or stormwater into wastewater systems.

This definition applies to:

Volume of physical inflows to the water distribution system during the reporting period; from outside the region or from other stores.

This definition applies to:

Water liability relating to the water distribution system store.

This definition applies to:

Outflows from the water distribution system; to outside the region or to other stores. For example the discharge of treated wastewater to a river or to the sea.

This definition applies to:

There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

A physical entity, an organisation or individual that: (a) holds or transfers water, (b) holds or transfers rights or other direct or indirect claims to water, (c) has inflows and/or outflows of water or (d) has responsibilities relating to the management of water.

This definition applies to:

Context 2

A physical entity, an organisation or individual, that: (a) holds or transfers water; or (b) holds or transfers rights or other direct or indirect claims to water; or (c) has inflows and/or outflows of water; or (d) has responsibilities relating to the management of water.

This definition applies to:

Water for indigenous purposes or other cultural outcomes.

This definition applies to:

Water for residential, stock and domestic or recreational purposes.

This definition applies to:

Multiple supply sources, such as dams, groundwater, desalination and purified recycled water, connected via a network of pipes and channels to support water demands.

This definition applies to:

The volume of water which flowed from another store or from outside the region during the reporting period.

This definition applies to:

A transaction to transfer a water right from one legal entity to another, in whole or in part, for a specified period of time which involves an exchange of a monetary value.

This definition applies to:

The elevation of the water surface at a particular time and date, measured relative to a specified datum.

This definition applies to:

A present obligation of the water report entity, the discharge of which is expected to result in a decrease in the water report entity’s water assets or an increase in another water liability.

This definition applies to:

A decrease in water liability due to forfeiture or a delivery of water.

This definition applies to:

An increase in water liability as a result of allocation announcements, etc.

This definition applies to:

An area defined for the purposes of water management, including a water resource plan area.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

This definition applies to:

Equivalent National, State and Territory water market product and trading terms on the National Water Market System website. These are cross-referenced in the nationally equivalent terms for water products and trading terminology tables.

This definition applies to:

The volume of water which flowed to another store, or to outside the region during the reporting period.

This definition applies to:

Statutory plans for surface and/or groundwater systems, consistent with the Regional Natural Resource Management Plans, developed in consultation with all relevant stakeholders on the basis of best scientific and socio-economic assessment, to provide secure ecological outcomes and resource security for users.

This definition applies to:

A water right that is tradeable, falling under the broad category of either water access entitlement or water allocation. A product may be bundled or unbundled and has various attributes such as water resource type (e.g. surface water, groundwater, regulated, unregulated) and reliability type (e.g. high, low priority).

Synonym: product

This definition applies to:

A business or organisation that provides a reticulated water supply, irrigation water, reused or recycled water, or a bulk water supply service. Water providers may be Government or private and often operate water storage, purification and supply services. They may also provide sewerage or drainage services.

Source: © Commonwealth of Australia 2005, National Water Commission, Australian Water Resources 2005, Glossary and definitions, Viewed 5 October 2011, http://www.water.gov.au/Glossary.aspx

This definition applies to:

The physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water. It is most frequently used by reference to a set of standards against which compliance can be assessed. Common standards used are those for drinking water, safety of human contact and the health of ecosystems.

This definition applies to:

The legislative instrument which supports the Bureau’s water information functions as set out in the Commonwealth Water Act 2007 under Part 7 – Water Information. The regulations define who must give specified water information to the Bureau and the time and format in which the information must be given. The Regulations came into effect on 30 June 2008.

This definition applies to:

A water entity in respect of which it is reasonable to expect the existence of users who depend on general purpose water accounting reports for information about water, or rights or other claims to water, which will be useful to them for making and evaluating decisions about the allocation of resources. For the purposes of the National Water Account this is the region as defined in the contextual statement.

This definition applies to:

There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

Means: (a) surface water or groundwater, or (b) a watercourse, lake, wetland or aquifer (whether or not it currently has water in it), and includes all aspects of the water resource (including water, organisms and other components and ecosystems that contribute to the physical state and environmental value of the water resource).

Source: Water Act 2007 Part 1 Section 4

This definition applies to:

Context 2

All natural water (surface water or groundwater) and alternative water sources such as recycled or desalinated water which has not yet been abstracted or used.

This definition applies to:

A plan for the management of a water resource.

This definition applies to:

Water resource area defined in a water resource plan.

Equivalent: water market equivalent terms

This definition applies to:

Describes the attributes of a water resource, e.g. surface or groundwater, regulated or unregulated water.

Equivalent: water market equivalent terms

This definition applies to:

An area in South Australia which includes surface water, watercourses and groundwater. It is prescribed under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (SA) where regulatory control is needed to secure sustainable management and support water-dependent ecosystems. The prescription is administered by the Department for Water.

This definition applies to:

Any constraints or restrictions placed on water use by an infrastructure operator, local council or State or Territory Government.

This definition applies to:

There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

A generic term for the range of different tradeable and non-tradeable water rights across Australia. These might include, but are not limited to, water access entitlements, water allocations, water use rights, delivery rights, irrigation rights and works approvals.

This definition applies to:

Context 2

A right granted on the water resource (surface water, groundwater or landscape water) by the owner of the water resource (the State or the organisation to which the State has delegated its management power) to access, take or use water from the resource.

This definition applies to:

Context 3

A right granted on the water resource (surface water, groundwater or landscape water) by the owner of the water resource (the State or the organisation to which the State has delegated its management power) to access, abstract or use water from the resource.

This definition applies to:

There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

A hydrological feature in which water is stored. Surface water storages include natural and artificial ponds, lakes, reservoirs and lagoons, also the bodies of water held behind weirs and dams.

In the National Water Account, surface water storages include only artificial or natural water storages connected to rivers, which primary purposes are medium to long term water storage to service surface water access rights. These storages can be managed by an organisation to provide water to an urban water system.

This definition applies to:

Context 2

A pond, lake or basin, whether natural or artificial, for the storage, regulation and control of water.

This definition applies to:

Context 3

The total water in water assets.

This definition applies to:

Context 4

Surface water or groundwater that is stored.

This definition applies to:

A place where water can accumulate. It may be natural, such as a pond, lake, aquifer or river, or artificial, such as a tank, reservoir, channel or pipe. It may be located above or below the surface of the earth.

This definition applies to:

A condition where there is not enough water to meet needs, including the effective functioning of ecosystems.

This definition applies to:

A system that is hydrologically connected and described at the level desired for management purposes (e.g. sub-catchment, catchment, basin or drainage division and/or groundwater management unit, sub-aquifer, aquifer, groundwater basin).

Source: Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative Schedule B(i)

Equivalent: water market equivalent terms

This definition applies to:

An accounting approach that allows a traded water access entitlement to retain its original characteristics when traded to a new jurisdiction and/or trading zone, rather than being converted into a form issued in the new jurisdiction and/or trading zone.

Source: Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Water Initiative Schedule B(i)

This definition applies to:

The physical abstraction of water from a water resource for a use outside of the system from which the water is abstracted. It excludes in-system uses of water and results, at least temporarily, in a depletion of the resource. Unless water is taken illegally, it is taken under a water right. In case the right specifies a volume of water that the water provider is liable to deliver to the taker, the exercise of the right through the take effectively decreases the water liability of the provider.

This definition applies to:

The temperature of water measured by a thermometer freely exposed to the water but shielded from radiation.

This definition applies to:

A transaction to buy, sell or lease a water right, in whole or in part, from one legal entity to another and involves an exchange of a monetary value.

This definition applies to:

Water price or trade price has the same meaning as net water price.

Related: net water price

This definition applies to:

A right that allows use of water by specifying location of the use (plot) and/or purpose of the use.

This definition applies to:

1 July to 30 June.

This definition applies to:

A river, creek or other natural watercourse (where modified or not) in which water is contained or flows (whether permanently or from time to time); and includes:

(i) a dam or reservoir that collects water flowing in a watercourse; and

(ii) a lake or wetland through which water flows; and

(iii) a channel into which the water of a watercourse has been diverted; and

(iv) part of a watercourse; and

(v) an estuary through which water flows

Source: Water Act 2007 Part 1 Section 4

This definition applies to:

The volume of water flowing down a watercourse over a fixed period of time; usually reported as megalitres per day or cubic metres per second.

This definition applies to:

The elevation of the water surface in a watercourse at a particular time and date, measured relative to a specified datum, typically the Australian Height Datum (AHD).

This definition applies to:

The Queensland Water Commission’s WaterHub is a centralised web-based water information management system to store and provide secure access to water information. This is used to future analysis, planning and reporting. The modules that comprise the WaterHub are:

  • Volumetric Point Measurement Module (collects the bulk grid water meter readings)

  • Consumption Analysis Module (collects and consolidates SEQ retail billing data)

  • Reporting Facilitation Module

  • Production Analysis Module (calculates the weekly residential water consumption)

  • Demand Forecasting Module

The Reporting Facilitation Module automatically collates and sends the SEQ grid bulk water volumetric readings and storage level information to the Bureau.

This definition applies to:

The groundwater surface in an unconfined aquifer or confining bed at which the pore pressure is atmospheric. It can be measured by installing shallow wells extending a few meters into the saturated zone and then measuring the water level in those wells.

This definition applies to:

Water Data Transfer Format

WDTF is an XML data transfer format designed to support the water industry to share and deliver water data to the Bureau as required under the Water Regulations 2008.

This definition applies to:

Short term atmospheric conditions such as temperature, humidity, wind, cloud cover or precipitation in a certain location at a certain time. See the Weather and Climate pages for more information.

This definition applies to:

A software system designed to support machine-to-machine interaction, in which the machines are capable of being used or operated reciprocally over a network of computers.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Regulation 1.03

This definition applies to:

A period of seven consecutive days starting on the first moment of a Monday and finishing at the end of the following Sunday.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Regulation 1.04

This definition applies to:

The Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme is a water recycling scheme that treats wastewater effluent from Brisbane and Ipswich at three advanced water treatment plants at Bundamba, Luggage Point and Gibson Island. The recycled water system is managed by WaterSecure. The purified recycled water is pumped to Swanbank power station (located within the South East Queensland region defined for the National Water Account) and Tarong power station (located outside the South East Queensland region defined for the National Water Account) to provide cooling water previously supplied from Lake Wivenhoe. The system has the capability to discharge purified recycled water into Lake Wivenhoe to supplement drinking water supplies when Lake Wivenhoe storage drops to a trigger level of 40% capacity. See Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme for further information.

This definition applies to:

The temperature of air measured by a thermometer that has its bulb wrapped in wet muslin.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

This definition applies to:

An area of land whose soil is saturated with moisture either permanently or intermittently. Wetlands are typically highly productive ecosystems. They include areas of marsh, fen, parkland or open water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters.

This definition applies to:

World Geodetic System 1984.

For most practical purposes GDA94 and WGS84 coordinates can be considered the same and no transformation is required.

Source: Inter-governmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping, viewed 3 May 2013.

Related: GDA94

This definition applies to:

There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

A wholesale water right can be interpreted in the National Water Account as one exercised by the take of water from the connected surface water, groundwater or landscape water stores. Wholesale water rights are those exercised over water resources specifically defined in legislation.

This definition applies to:

Context 2

A wholesale water right can be interpreted in the National Water Account as one exercised by the abstraction of water from the connected surface water, groundwater or landscape water stores. Wholesale water rights are those exercised over water resources specifically defined in legislation.

This definition applies to:

The product of the average wind speed and the period over which that average speed was measured.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

This definition applies to:

The rate of movement of air in the atmosphere measured instantaneously at a specified altitude.

This definition applies to:

Water Information Research and Development Alliance

This definition applies to:

Eight regions which cover Australia, where the broad rules which describe groundwater/ecosystem interaction are likely to be similar. These regions were used to implement the methodology for identifying and mapping GDEs in the development of the GDE Atlas.

This definition applies to:

water resource plan area

This definition applies to:

water treatment plant

This definition applies to:

wastewater treatment plant

This definition applies to: