Murray-Darling Basin
21.2 Surface water allocation announcements - urban system

Supporting Information

The volumetric value for the line item for the 2010–11 year was 538,844 ML. The line item represents surface water allocation announcements for urban water systems associated with a number of entitlement classes in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) region.

The following two tables provide a summary and breakdown information on surface water allocation announcements for urban water systems within the region.


Summary of surface water allocation announcements for urban water systems in the MDB region
Water resource plan area


 Volume (ML) for the 2010–11 year 



SW19 Warrego – Paroo – Nebine Qld 0
SW18 Condamine–Balonne Qld 0
SW17 Moonie Qld na
SW16 Qld Border Rivers Qld 0
SW15 NSW Border Rivers NSW 620
SW11 Barwon–Darling watercourse NSW 0
SW12 NSW Intersecting Streams NSW na
SW14 Gwydir NSW 3,836
SW13 Namoi NSW 18,849
SW10 Macquarie–Castlereagh NSW 18,845
Sub-total Northern Basin 42,150
SW9 Lachlan NSW 15,545
SW8 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW 43,355
SW7 NSW Murray and Lower Darling NSW 46,827
SW3 Northern Victoria Vic 104,883
SW2 Vic Murray Vic 51,784
SW4 Wimmera–Mallee Vic na
SW6 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SA na
SW5 SA Murray SA 163,300
SW1 ACT ACT 71,000
Sub-total Southern Basin 496,694
Total for the region 538,844

na = not applicable


Details of surface water allocation announcements for urban water systems in the MDB region
Water resource plan area

Sustainable diversion limit area


Entitlement class

 Volume (ML) for the 2010–11 year



NSW Border Rivers  SS23 NSW Border Rivers  NSW Local water utility 620
Gwydir  SS22 Gwydir  NSW Local water utility 3,836
Namoi  SS21 Namoi  NSW Local water utility 18,849
Macquarie–Castlereagh  SS20 Macquarie–Castlereagh  NSW Local water utility 18,805
High security – town water supply 40
Sub-total  18,845
Lachlan SS16 Lachlan NSW Local water utility 15,545
Murrumbidgee NSW SS15 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW Local water utility 23,586
High security – town water supply 19,769
Sub-total  43,355
NSW Murray and Lower Darling SS18 Lower Darling NSW Local water utility 10,135
SS14 NSW Murray NSW Local water utility 33,497
High security – town water supply 3,195
Sub-total  36,692
Sub-total New South Wales 147,877
Northern Victoria SS4 Ovens  Vic Urban – regulated 7,832
SS5 Broken Vic Urban – regulated 2,260
SS6 Goulburn Vic Urban – regulated 41,212
SS7 Campaspe Vic Urban – regulated 50,475
SS8 Loddon Vic Urban – regulated 3,104
Vic Murray SS2 Vic Murray Vic Urban  51,784
Sub-total Victoria 156,667
Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SS13 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges  SA Urban
SA Murray SS11 SA Murray SA  Class 2 – other urban (country town) water supply 33,300
Class 6 – Metro-Adelaide water supply scheme 130,000
Sub-total  163,300
SS10 SA Non-prescribed areas  SA Urban
Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SS12 Marne–Saunders  SA Urban
Sub-total South Australia 163,300
ACT SS1 ACT  SA Urban – regulated  71,000
Total for the region 538,844

 – = no data available



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 supplemented entitlements are included within supplemented entitlement class. Supplemented urban and supplemented non-urban volumes on allocations, diversions and other attributes were received together and it was not possible for these to be separated out for two purposes. Therefore, surface water allocation announcements for both urban and non-urban supplemented entitlements are included in line item 21.1 Surface water allocation announcements.

New South Wales

New South Wales volumes reported in this line item contain the allocation announcements made under major and local water utility classes as well as the high security town water supply class.


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

Transfers to Melbourne via the North–South pipeline occur under a commercial arrangement and not under an entitlement. Therefore, no separate allocation volumes are available.

Australian Capital Territory

In the Australian Capital Territory, no formal allocation announcement is made to extract water from storages. The allocation announcement for the year is assumed to be equal to the total entitlement volume.

Quantification Approach

Data Source

(1) New South Wales: NSW Office of Water's Water Accounting section, and (2) WAM data received from Australian Capital Territory (13 January 2012), 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 announcements are usually the entitlements on issue multiplied by the percentage allocation announced.

Allocation announcement is calculated by the states and provided to the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

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

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.

Assumptions, Limitations, Caveats and Approximations

Uncertainty estimates reported by NSW Office of Water include possible errors in the data handling processes.

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

Uncertainty of allocation announcements may in part be due to existing entitlements being converted into a different class, new entitlements issued, or entitlements cancelled following commissioning of a water saving infrastructure project.

The table below shows the WAM uncertainty percentages and the measurement method applied that relates to the reported percentage. 


WAM uncertainty percentages
Percentage (%)

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 below outlines the WAM uncertainty percentage for each entitlement class for each jurisdiction.


Uncertainty percentages for the jurisdictions

Entitlement class

 Uncertainty (%)

Qld Condamine–Balonne


Qld Border Rivers


Qld Moonie System


Qld Nebine


Qld Warrego


Qld Paroo


NSW Combined NSW regulated data reliability


Vic Goulburn–Broken


Vic Campaspe


Vic Loddon


Vic Ovens


Vic Murray


SA Class 2 and Class 6


ACT All classes


na = not quantified

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.

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


Restatement of comparative year information made for the line item 21.2 Surface water allocation announcements – urban water system

Northern Basin (ML)

Southern Basin (ML)

Whole region (ML)

Line item names and values reported as at the 2009–10 year in the 2010 Account Allocation announcement on regulated flows – high security, urban holder 4,934 204,481 209,415
25.1.4 Allocation announcement/claim recognition on regulated flows – urban water access entitlement/arrangement 42,082 118,028 160,110 Allocation announcement on regulated flows – urban holder 9,710 0 9,710
Total value reported for the 2010 Account 56,726 322,509 379,235
Changes in the value reported in the 2010 Account due to regrouping of line items  –4,894 118,669 113,775
Value reported for the 2009–10 year in the 2011 Account  51,832 441,178 493,010


Changes in the value reported in the 2010 Account due to regrouping, presentation and classification change 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.  Allocation announcements associated with these entitlement classes were designated as non-urban and excluded from this line item for the 2011 Account.   

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

  •  In the 2010 Account, allocation was considered as equal to diverted volume for Australian Capital Territory water resource plan area.  For the 2011 Account, allocation was considered as the total water access entitlement aligning with information provided in the Canberra water account.  As a result, 2009-10 allocation volume for Australian Capital Territory water resource plan area in the 2011 Account was 71,000 ML (increase of 25,779 ML).