Murray-Darling Basin
17.11 Surface water allocation diversion

Supporting Information

The volumetric value for the line item for the 2010–11 year was 4,020,807 ML. The line item represents diversion (excluding urban water systems) associated with a number of entitlement classes in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) region. For Queensland, this line item includes surface water allocation diversions for both urban and non-urban supplemented entitlements (details are after the following tables). Information on allocation diversions for urban water systems for other jurisdictions is included in line item 17.12 Surface water allocation diversion – urban water system.

The following two tables provide a summary and breakdown information on surface water allocation diversion (excluding urban water systems) within the region. 


Summary of surface water allocation diversion (excluding urban water systems) in the MDB region during the 2010–11 year
Surface water resource plan area


 Volume (ML) 



SW19 Warrego – Paroo – Nebine Qld 856
SW18 Condamine–Balonne Qld 69,233
SW17 Moonie Qld na
SW16 Qld Border Rivers Qld 40,591
SW15 NSW Border Rivers NSW 69,144
SW11 Barwon–Darling watercourse NSW na
SW12 NSW Intersecting Streams NSW na
SW14 Gwydir NSW 105,625
SW13 Namoi NSW 66,030
SW10 Macquarie–Castlereagh NSW 156,152
Sub-total Northern Basin 507,631
SW9 Lachlan NSW 79,539
SW8 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW 1,084,248
SW7 NSW Murray and Lower Darling NSW 613,721
SW3 Northern Victoria Vic 589,001
SW2 Vic Murray Vic 562,138
SW4 Wimmera–Mallee Vic 9,721
SW6 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SA
SW5 SA Murray SA 574,808
Sub-total Southern Basin 3,513,176
Total for the region 4,020,807

– = Data not available, na = not applicable


Details of surface water allocation diversion (excluding urban water systems) in the MDB region during 2010-11 2010–11
Water resource plan area

Sustainable diversion limit area


Entitlement Class

 Volume (ML) 



Warrego – Paroo – Nebine SS28 Warrego Qld Supplemented 856
Condamine–Balonne SS26  Condamine–Balonne  Qld Supplemented 69,233
Qld Border Rivers SS24 Qld Border Rivers Qld Supplemented 40,591
 Sub-total Queensland 110,680
NSW Border Rivers SS23 NSW Border Rivers  NSW High security 152
General security 68,647
Stock and domestic 345
  Sub-total 69,144
Gwydir SS22 Gwydir  NSW High security 7,347
General security 97,153
Stock and domestic 1,125
High security – research 0
Sub-total  105,625
Namoi SS21 Namoi  NSW High security 400
General security 64,594
Stock and domestic 836
High security – research 200
 Sub-total  66,030
Macquarie–Castlereagh SS20 Macquarie–Castlereagh  NSW High security 5,348
General security 149,262
Stock and domestic 940
High security – research 602
 Sub-total  156,152
Lachlan SS16 Lachlan NSW High security 31,238
General security 40,372
Stock and domestic 3,582
Conveyance 4,347
 Sub-total  79,539
Murrumbidgee NSW SS15 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW High security 188,269
General security 698,958
Stock and domestic 18,955
Conveyance 177,470
High security – research 146
High Security - Aboriginal cultural 450
 Sub-total  1,084,248
NSW Murray and Lower Darling SS18 Lower Darling NSW High security 1,996
General security 24,782
Supplementary 0
Stock and domestic 463
 Sub-total  27,241
SS14 NSW Murray NSW High security 47,221
General security 209,238
Supplementary 0
Stock and domestic 7,785
Conveyance 322,224
High security – research 0
High Security – Aboriginal cultural 0
High Security – community and education 12
Sub-total  586,480
 Sub-total New South Wales 2,174,459
Northern Victoria SS4 Ovens Vic High reliability water share 834
SS5 Broken Vic Combined high and low reliability 4,350
SS6 Goulburn Vic Combined high and low reliability 552,442
SS7 Campaspe Vic Combined high and low reliabilityty 8,704
SS8 Loddon Vic Combined high and low reliability 22,671
Vic Murray SS2 Vic Murray Vic Combined high and low reliability 562,138
Wimmera–Mallee SS9 Wimmera–Mallee Vic High reliability water share 9,721
 Sub-total Victoria 1,160,860
Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SS13 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SA Regulated
SA Murray SS11 SA Murray SA Class 1  – stock and domestic 8,351
Class 2 – other urban (country town) water supply na
Class 3 – irrigation and holding  564,534
Class 4 – recreation 0
Class 5 – industrial 1,923
Class 6 – Metro-Adelaide water supply scheme na
Class 7 –  environment
Class 8 – environmental land management
Combined classes urban na
Combined classes metered na
Sub-total  574,808
SS10 South Australian Non-prescribed areas SA Regulated
Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SS12 Marne–Saunders SA Regulated
 Sub-total South Australia 574,808
Total for the region 4,020,807

– = no data available, na = not applicable



In Queensland, the resource operation plans (ROPs) distinguish between high and medium priority of supplemented water allocation. The water audit monitoring (WAM) data, which are the data source for the 2011 Account, only distinguish between supplemented and unsupplemented entitlements. Both urban and non-urban entitlements are included within supplemented entitlement class. Supplemented urban and supplemented non-urban volumes on allocations, diversions and other attributes were received together and not possible to be separated out for two purposes. Therefore, this line item includes surface water allocation diversions for both urban and non-urban supplemented entitlements.     


Victorian allocation diversions are shown in the source valley, even though the water was taken in a different destination valley. Therefore all entitlements in the Goulburn region have their diversions shown in the Goulburn sustainable diversion limit (SDL) area, rather than the destination valleys of the Loddon or the Campaspe, or transferred to Melbourne.


Calculation of allocation diversions within the region – Victoria
SDL area

WAM volume (ML)

Add volumes transferred to other SDL areas1 (ML)

Add environmental diversions1 (ML)

Deduct unregulated diversion2 (ML)

Total (ML)































Victorian Murray












1Volumes for allocation diversion but not included in WAM volume

2 Volumes not related to allocation diversion but included in WAM volume


Diversion volumes that could not be specified under high reliability water share or a low reliability water share were reported as combined high and low reliability diversions.

South Australia

South Australian volumes include diversions made under environmental entitlements.


Quantification Approach

Data Source

(1) New South Wales: NSW Office of Water's Water Accounting section, and (2) WAM data received from Queensland (22 December 2011) South Australia (07 February 2012) and Victoria (31 January 2012). WAM data are stored in the Murray–Darling Basin Authority HYDRO database.

Provided by

Murray–Darling Basin Authority.


Allocation diversion is as calculated by the states.

NSW Office of Water supplied data are prepared on a water balance approach. It implies that the movement of values during the year will balance the opening and closing balances. The forfeitures and adjustments have been checked to ensure that the closing balance reconciles.

WAM-supplied data are either measured, modelled or estimated.

Assumptions, Limitations, Caveats and Approximations

Uncertainty reported for diversion at the abstraction point accounts for possible errors in the data collection process.

A single metered abstraction point may provide water to a range of users, under various types of entitlements (e.g. stock and domestic class). When this happens, the jurisdiction may split the metered abstraction into several classes of entitlements or types of users, according to priority rules governing the entitlements. This split has an inherent uncertainty that is not considered here.

Estimates of uncertainty of the diversions are indicative accuracy of bulk diversions at the abstraction point on the river only and do not provide an uncertainty of diversion at the diversion point.

Information provided in this line item may have been based on Cap valleys in the HYDRO database, which may not align perfectly with SDL areas.

Uncertainty Information

WAM data uncertainty estimate definitions

Accuracy description

5 Metered diversions
10 Estimate based on user meter readings
20 Detailed estimate based on regional surveys
40 Estimate based on user returns


The following table outlines the WAM uncertainty percentage for each entitlement class for each jurisdiction.


Uncertainty percentages for non-urban allocation diversions in the jurisdictions

Entitlement class

 Uncertainty (%)

SA Class 1


SA Class 3, Class 4, Class 5, Class 7, Class 8, Class 9 and Combined class metered


SA Combined classes unmetered


NSW All regulated non-urban


ACT All regulated non-urban


Vic Broken


Vic Goulburn


Vic Campaspe


Vic Loddon


Vic Ovens


Vic Kiewa


Vic Murray 


Vic Wimmera–Mallee


Qld Condamine–Balonne


Qld Border Rivers


Qld Warrego


Comparative year

 This line item corresponds to line items listed in the following table and reported in the 2010 Account. In the 2011 Account, the following change was made that caused the 2009–10 year value to be restated:

  • Presentation and classification of the line items has changed since the 2010 Account; line items have been regrouped.

The changes and their respective values are detailed in the following table.


Restatement of comparative year information made for the line item 17.11 Surface water allocation diversion

Northern Basin (ML)

Southern Basin (ML)

Whole region (ML)

Line item names and values reported for the 2009–10 year in the 2010 Account 14.7.1 Allocation diversion of regulated flows – stock and domestic water access entitlement 4,448 38,486 42,934 Allocation diversion of regulated flows – high security, individual holder for stock and domestic 0 20,000 20,000 Allocation diversion of regulated flows – high security, other lumped holders 18,263 316,887 335,150 Allocation diversion of regulated flows – general and low security, other lumped holders 169,577 351,707 521,284 Allocation diversion of regulated flows – bulk irrigator holder 0 433,462 433,462 Allocation diversion of regulated flows – individual irrigator holder 141,311 0 141,311 Allocation diversion of regulated flows – other lumped holders 0 2,287,387 2,287,387
Total value reported for the 2010 Account 333,599 3,447,929 3,781,528
Changes in the value reported in the 2010 Account due to regrouping of line items  253 –84,131 –83,878
Value reported for the 2009–10 year in the 2011 Account  333,852 3,363,798 3,697,650


Changes in the value reported in the 2010 Account due to regrouping of line items were due to the following reasons:

  • The high security entitlement classes within New South Wales for research, industrial, cultural, community and education were reported under urban line items in the 2010 Account.  Diversions associated with these entitlement classes were designated as non-urban and included in this line item for the 2011 Account.   

  • In the 2010 Account, Victorian allocation diversion volumes were not separated into urban and non-urban and reported under line item Allocation diversion of regulated flows – other lumped holders. For the 2011 Account, these volumes were restated after separating into urban and non-urban entitlement classes.