Australian Water Information Dictionary

Water status: National Water Account 2010

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The removal of water from a water store.

This definition applies to:

Adjustments made to allocation carryover. For example, amounts written off as a result of the operation of rules or upon agreement between the allocation owner and the body responsible for managing water in the region.

This definition applies to:

The distance in kilometres, measured along the middle of a watercourse that a specific point in the watercourse is from the watercourse’s mouth or junction with the main watercourse.

This definition applies to:

Announcement of water allocations arising due to seasonal determinations of surface water to be available under water access entitlements.

This definition applies to:

Water allocated during the water year of an entitlement that is yet to be accessed, taken or delivered at the end of the water year and is able to be carried over to the next water year. Where the water year coincides with the National Water Account reporting period allocation carryover equates to allocation remaining.

This definition applies to:

The volume of surface water outflows delivered or otherwise taken to settle allocation or claim liabilities. When used as a high level term can also include the volume of groundwater abstracted to settle allocation liabilities.

This definition applies to:

Water allocated in a reporting period (or remaining from the previous reporting period) that is yet to be accessed, taken or delivered at the end of the reporting period and is not forfeited. Where the National Water Account reporting period coincides with the entitlement’s water year, allocation remaining equates to allocation carryover.

This definition applies to:

Adopted Middle Thread Distance

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A number, expressed as a percentage, which is used to determine the maximum volume of water that may be taken in a water year.

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A geological formation or group of formations; able to receive, store and transmit significant quantities of water.

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The change in net water assets for the water report entity from one reporting date to the next.

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The change in net water storage for the region from one report date to the next.

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Increases or decreases in the water report entity’s water assets from one reporting date to the next.

This definition applies to:

Increases or decreases in the water report entity’s water liabilities from one reporting date to the next.

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A right to water or an interest or claim associated with a right to water.

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Adjustments to claims to water in the region. For example, amounts written off as a result of the operation of rules or upon agreement between the relevant parties.

This definition applies to:

Net water assets at the end of the reporting period.

Related: net water assets

This definition applies to:

The total water storage in water assets in the region at the end of the reporting period.

This definition applies to:

An aquifer overlain by a confining bed. The confining bed has a significantly lower hydraulic conductivity than the aquifer. Typically groundwater in a confined aquifer is under pressure significantly greater than atmospheric pressure.

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All the surface water bodies connected to the river channel network, with the exception of the off-channel but connected man-made water structures.

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Decreases in connected surface water due to natural processes or diversion of water.

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Increases in connected surface water due to natural processes or return of water.

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

This definition applies to:

Volume of physical outflows from connected surface water during the reporting period; to outside the region or to other stores.

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Comprises all the surface water bodies connected, either seasonally or perennially, to the river channel network that are administered by the jurisdictions. Also includes any other surface water body which contains water not yet ‘abstracted’, such as storages managed by organisations to provide water to urban centres.

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An obligation that derives from actions of the management of a water report entity whereby: a) an established pattern of past practice, published policies or sufficiently specific current statement means that the management of the water report entity has indicated to other parties that it will accept certain responsibilities; and b) as a result, a valid expectation has been created on the part of those other parties that the management of the water report entity will discharge those responsibilities.

This definition applies to:

A possible water asset that arises from past events and whose existence will be confirmed only by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the management of the water report entity.

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A possible obligation that arises from past events and whose existence will be confirmed only by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the management of the water report entity.

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Water required primarily to operate regulated rivers and utility supply networks to enable the delivery of water.

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Right that allows diversion of water for anyone who holds native title with respect to water, as determined under the Native Title Act 1993 (Commonwealth).

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In a water storage, the volume of water stored below the level of the lowest outlet (the minimum supply level). This water cannot be accessed under normal operating conditions.

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Water service, or part of a water service, declared under chapter 2A, part 5A, division 2 of the Water Act 2000 (Queensland).

Source: Water Act 2000 (Qld) Schedule 4 – Dictionary

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The process of removing salt from brackish or saline water.

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Domestic purposes are defined in the dictionary of the Water Act 2000 (Qld) (Schedule 4). While not stated explicitly, domestic purposes includes water used in connection with a residential dwelling including human consumption, cooking, toilets and showers etc. Watering of gardens up to 0.25 ha in size is also considered to be domestic use provided the produce from the garden is not grown for sale, barter or exchange.

Source: Water Act 2000 (Qld) Schedule 4 – Dictionary

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A jurisdictional gazetted instrument (e.g. Water Sharing Plan), subordinate to the overarching State or Territory water rights legislation, intended to share the portion of the total water resource it covers.

This definition applies to:

Water Access Entitlements held for the benefit of the environment. They may include entitlements of a specific environmental class and non specific classes of entitlement.

Related: water access entitlements

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Allocations announced on entitlements held for the environment.

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A process which occurs at a liquid surface resulting in a change of state from liquid to vapour. In relation to water resource assessment and water accounting, evaporation refers to the movement of water from the land surface (predominantly liquid) to the atmosphere (water vapour). The liquid water at the land surface that may be available for evaporation includes surface water, soil water, water within vegetation and water on vegetation and paved surfaces.

Related:

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The sum of evaporation and plant transpiration from the earth’s land surface to the atmosphere.

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Homogeneous collections of common features, each having the same spatial representation, such as points, lines, or polygons, and a common set of attribute columns, for example, a line feature class for representing road centrelines. The four most commonly used feature classes in the geodatabase are points, lines, polygons, and annotation (the geodatabase name for map text).

Source: ArcGIS 9.2 Desktop Help

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An expected future demand on water influenced by the availability and management of the region’s water resources. It may arise as a result of an externally imposed requirement or best practice for managing water resources.

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A water accounting report intended to meet the information needs common to users who are unable to command the preparation of water accounting reports tailored to satisfy their information needs. A general purpose water accounting report is prepared in accordance with Australian Water Accounting Standards and comprises a Contextual Statement, an Accountability Statement, water accounting statements, accompanying note disclosures and an Assurance Statement.

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1,000 megalitres, which also is 1,000,000,000 litres.

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Subsurface water in soils and geological formations that are fully saturated.

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The water assets that relate to groundwater, excluding soil moisture and water held in works underground.

In the National Water Account, it is quantified as the total of managed groundwater volumes of each groundwater management unit significant to the water balance within the region. For example where available this managed volume corresponds to the permissible consumptive volume specified in the water management plan.

This definition applies to:

Outflows from the region's groundwater due to natural processes or diversions, and decrease of claims to water held on behalf of the region's groundwater.

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Inflows into the region's groundwater or increase of claims to water that may result in inflows into the region's groundwater.

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

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A water liability relating to groundwater.

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Decreases in the region's groundwater liability. It includes adjustment or forfeiture of the obligation to deliver groundwater. It excludes extraction of water.

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

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Volume of physical outflows from groundwater during the reporting period; to outside the region or to other stores.

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The maximum volume of groundwater that can be extracted without causing any long-term mining of the aquifer system. It does not represent a ‘sustainable’ or ‘safe’ yield that normally takes into account factors such as intrusion of poor quality water and surface water groundwater interaction. In an unconfined aquifer the groundwater resource potential is mainly based on estimation of groundwater recharge, while in a confined aquifer the groundwater resource potential represents the available elastic storage (or a fraction of throughflow).

This definition applies to:

Water assets that relate to groundwater but excluding soil moisture and water held in works underground.

Related: water asset

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The water accounting report of a group water report entity presented as a single water entity.

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The abbreviation for hectare; one hectare is equal to an area of 10 000 square metres.

Synonym: hectare

This definition applies to:

one hectare is equal to an area of 10 000 square metres.

Synonym: ha

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The irrigation distribution system is constituted by the irrigation delivery system only, which receives water that has been abstracted from the different water sources in the region or that has been transferred from outside the region, before delivery to the irrigation paddocks.

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A right issued by an irrigation entity and granted from the entity’s bulk water access entitlement.

Source: Water Act 2007 Part 1 Section 4

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All water in the natural environment that is not surface water or groundwater. Includes water in the unsaturated zone of the soil, on the flood plain or in water bodies that are disconnected from the rivers, such as natural lakes, ponds or wetlands.

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An obligation that derives from: (a) a contract, (b) legislation, or (c) other operation of law.

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The volume of water extracted from regulated groundwater assets pursuant to the rules of the groundwater allocation licence.

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The volume of water deliberately moved to groundwater assets from other water assets (such as surface water) due to human intervention.

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An average annual groundwater volume available for extraction usually estimated by jurisdictions for each managed groundwater management unit. This volume has different names in different jurisdictions, for example permissible consumptive volume, volume available for extraction, groundwater availability and these volumes are usually presented and explained in documents such as Water Sharing Plans and Water Resource Plans. The intent is usually to manage the total of all groundwater allocations so that allocations do not exceed the managed groundwater volume. Furthermore this volume may be adjusted annually to reflect the status of the groundwater resource (and allocations would be adjusted accordingly).

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One million litres.

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The excess of the water assets of the water report entity after deducting all of its water liabilities.

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Increases in non physical water asset due to allocation announcements or recognition of other claims to water.

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Decrease in non physical water asset due to adjustment and forfeiture.

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An event that creates a legal or constructive obligation that results in the management of a water report entity having no realistic alternative to settling that obligation.

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Towns not connected to the SEQ Water Grid are considered off-grid.

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Towns and water treatment plants connected to the SEQ Water Grid are considered on-grid.

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The total water storage in water assets in the region at the beginning of the reporting period.

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Water rights granted by a jurisdiction, external to an entitlement system.

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Water that is intended for use as drinking water and should materially meet the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2004, or equivalent.

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All forms in which water falls on the land surface and open water bodies as rain, sleet, snow, hail, or drizzle.

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Collects non-potable water on an opportunistic basis downstream of a major storage. This water is transferred back to the main urban supply reservoirs in order to settle (i.e. reduce turbidity) and become part of the water supply source for that reservoir.

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Represents geographic features by dividing the world into discrete square or rectangular cells laid out in a grid. Each cell has a value that is used to represent some characteristic of that location.

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Any table showing the relation between two mutually dependent quantities or variables over a given range of magnitude, e.g., a table showing the relationship between the stage in a reservoir and its volume.

Source: NSW Office of Water Water Information Glossary

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Treated sewage effluent, and:

• includes water extracted by sewer mining and subsequently treated

• does not include treated urban stormwater.

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Channel on which a licensed entitlement regime exists with centralised allocation, and from which orders may be placed for upstream release of a licensed allocation. A necessary, but not sufficient condition for a channel to be regulated is that it is located downstream of a ‘Storage for Entitlement’.

This definition applies to:

The National Water Account considers an entitlement or claim to water to be regulated when all three of the following conditions are met:

  1. The holder of a water entitlement or a claim to water can order the release or delivery of water as per their entitlement or claim.

  2. The volume of water as specified on the entitlement or claim is ‘at call’ and subject to relatively few access conditions under normal circumstances.

  3. The entitlement or claim to water is volumetrically well-specified.

All regulated entitlements and claims to water and actual diversions of flows are reported in the respective water accounting statements of the National Water Account.

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A channel flow resulting from an upstream release of a licensed allocation.

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The end of the last day of the reporting period.

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The period for which a water accounting report is prepared.

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The volume of returns of water from delivery service providers or water users to surface water assets.

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In the National Water Account, it is equated to the right to access water, which gives access to a share of the total water resource.

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For an interim water allocation, a water allocation, a seasonal water assignment or a water licence, means the assignment by the holder of the allocation, notice or licence of the benefit under the allocation, notice or licence to another person, for a water year, of all or part of the water that may be taken under the allocation or notice.

Source: Water Act 2000 (Qld)

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The SEQ Water Grid was established in July 2008 to connect water supplies and treatment facilities across the South East Queensland region. This provides coordinated management of water resources. See SEQ Water Grid for further information.

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The water content in the unsaturated zone of a soil profile.

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A water accounting report tailored to the information needs of a user able to command this information.

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The storage property for an unconfined aquifer that defines the quantity of water that can be drained from an aquifer under the influence of gravity or extracted by pumping.

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Precedent legislation for administering water rights in each State or Territory (ultimately vested in the Crown) and applicable to all water within the jurisdiction.

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Storages which are part of the connected surface water store and contain water yet to be shared within an entitlement system. In the National Water Account, storages managed by organisations to provide water to urban centres are included in ‘storages – entitlement system’ as they are considered to contain water yet to be ‘shared’ or ‘abstracted’, even if not formal entitlement system governs the urban water supply.

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The volume of water a confined aquifer will release when the water-level is lowered. Upon the lowering of water-levels in such aquifers, they remain fully saturated so that no dewatering occurs. The water released is volumetrically equivalent to the volumetric expansion of the water and contraction of the pore space. Also referred to as the coefficient of storage.

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Water that flows over or is stored on the surface of the earth. For the purpose of the National Water Account, surface water consists only of water connected, either seasonally or perennially, to the rivers and not yet abstracted for consumptive purpose. It includes water administered by jurisdictions and water stored in surface water storages. It excludes water in off-channel water, urban water systems and irrigation schemes.

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Water liability relating to surface water.

Related: water liability

This definition applies to:

Decreases in the region's surface water liability. It includes adjustment or forfeiture of the obligation to deliver surface water and in-stream use. It excludes diversion of water.

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

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The total volume of water contained within the physical boundaries of the region.

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Water generated from sewage, greywater or storm water systems that is treated to achieve sub-tertiary quality. The main difference between treated wastewater and recycled water is quality, and quality is determined by the level of treatment. Wastewater treated to achieve super-tertiary quality is called recycled water.

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An unexplained change in water assets and water liabilities during the reporting period.

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An uncertainty rating provided by Department of Environment and Resource Management for all line items provided by the department. The uncertainty ratings utilise the below adopted method from the National Performance Framework 2009-10 Urban Water Performance Report Auditing Requirements and Audit Report Template.

Reliability (A, B, C, D)

A Based on sound records with adequate procedures

B Mostly conforms to A but some deviations which have minor impact on integrity

C Data has significant procedural deviations or extrapolation

D Unsatisfactory data.

Accuracy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

1 +/- 5%

2 +/- 10%

3 +/- 20%

4 +/- 50%

5 Greater than +/- 50%.

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An aquifer whose upper surface is a watertable free to fluctuate in equilibrium with atmospheric pressure.

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Water that is not stored for the purpose of supplying the orders of downstream users.

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Channel where there is no entitlement system at all or where there is an entitlement system which does not allow orders to be placed for upstream release of a licensed allocation.

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The National Water Account considers an entitlement or claim to water to be unregulated when the holder of a water entitlement or a claim to water cannot order the release or delivery of water. The holder must abstract or otherwise exercise their entitlement or claim subject to that water being available in the watercourse.

For unregulated entitlements, only actual diversions resulting from the exercise of the claim are reported in the water accounting statements, not the claim itself.

This definition applies to:

A channel flow that does not result from a controlled release made to service an allocation, or flows declared to be unregulated by the appropriate authority. Unregulated flow can occur both in an unregulated channel and in a regulated channel, in case of a flow event that could not be retained and controlled by the upstream infrastructure.

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Constituted by three different components:

  1. Urban water delivery system: which conveys water abstracted from the different water sources in the region or that has been transferred into the system from outside the region (including desalination water).
  2. Urban wastewater system: which collects water after use, conveys it to the wastewater treatment plant and then discharges it into the environment.
  3. Urban recycled system: which recycles treated wastewater and discharges it to storages, before it is re-used for urban or irrigation purpose.

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.

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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

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

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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.

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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:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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:

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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:

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.

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Water for residential, stock and domestic or recreational purposes.

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

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:

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

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:

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 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:

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

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:

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 Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management’s water tracking and electronic reporting system is an Oracle database that collects electronic data for licensed discharges from environmentally relevant activities, such as wastewater treatment plants, and industrial and commercial discharges.

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:

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 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:

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: