Daly
Future outlook

Future prospects

Table 1 shows that at 30 June 2012 there was a deficit of available water assets over water liabilities and future commitments that are expected to be settled within 12 months of the reporting date.


Table 1  Future prospects for the Daly region

 

Volume
(ML)

 

 

Total water assets as at 30 June 2012

500

Less water assets not available to be accessed, taken or delivered:

 

Dead storage

0

Conveyance water

 0

 

 

Less total water liabilities as at 30 June 2012

67,738

Subtotal

(67,238)

Less future commitments expected to be settled within 12 months of the reporting date

 

Expected diversions of surface water (individual users)

1,000

Expected diversions of surface water (urban water system)

2,500

Expected extractions of groundwater (individual users)

15,000

Expected extractions of groundwater (urban water system)

1,000

Expected extractions for economic development
680

 

 

Surplus / (deficit) of available water assets over water liabilities and future commitments expected to be settled within 12 months of the reporting date

(87,418)


Expected diversions, extractions and releases of water are based on abstractions made during the 2011–12 year. 

The deficit shown in Table 1 is based on available water asset data. Total water assets in Table 1 only represents total water in the Copperfield Dam at 30 June 2012. The volume of water in rivers (line item 1.2) and aquifers (line item 2.1 and line item 2.2) could not be quantified, so these assets are not included.

Nevertheless, the deficit of water assets will likely be met from rainfall-runoff and groundwater recharge. Based on 2011–12 year data, net groundwater recharge from rainfall alone is estimated to be greater than 1,000,000 ML.


Contingent water assets and water liabilities

Purpose of the note

The purpose of this note is to report on contingent water assets and contingent water liabilities for the region. Possible (or contingent) water assets and water liabilities arise from past events and may be confirmed if future events that are not fully under the control of the region's management occur.

 

Contingent water assets

The Department of Land Resource Management sets extraction limits on groundwater aquifers to protect groundwater-dependent ecosystems. The volume of water that is beyond this extraction limit is considered a contingent water asset for aquifers in the region; however, there is currently not enough information available regarding groundwater resources in the Daly region to allow for a volumetric estimate.

 

Contingent water liabilities

Water for urban use (3,500 ML): The Power and Water Corporation manages and maintains water within the urban water system for delivery to the towns within the Daly region; however, the actual delivery of the water is contingent on when customers use the water. It is estimated that 3,500 ML will need to be delivered in the 2012–13 year (2,500 ML from surface water and 1,000 ML from groundwater stores).

Water for individual users (16,000 ML): The Department of Land Resource Management allocates water to individual users (e.g. agricultural or industrial sectors); however, the actual delivery of the water is contingent on when customers use the water. It is estimated that 16,000 ML will need to be delivered in the 2012–13 year (1,000 ML from surface water and 15,000 ML from groundwater stores).

Water for future economic development (680 ML): An important provision of the Water Allocation Plan for the Tindall Limestone Aquifer relates to the provision of water for future economic development. The Plan provides that if Native Title is recognised on a application within 5 years of the commencement of the Plan the relevant parts of the Plan will be amended to include 680ML for Indigenous commercial development. The rationale for this is that a successful Native Title application may result in the acquisition of land by Indigenous people. If the application is successful Indigenous owned land overlying the Tindall Aquifer would increase by approximately 2%. In relative water terms this equates to 680ML (Northern Territory Government 2009).

Of particular significance in the Draft Oolloo Aquifer Water Allocation Plan is the objective to reserve 14,400 ML/yr from the consumptive pool to be licensed for purposes that benefit Indigenous landowners. The Draft Oolloo Plan includes a strategy to protect the 'water dependent development opportunities' of Indigenous people in the region (Northern Territory Government 2012). The provision for a strategic Indigenous reserve recognises the extent of Aboriginal owned land and the need to ensure that they are not locked out of development opportunities. This is a policy mechanism designed to secure water rights for Indigenous people to enable participation in economic development (NAILSMA IWPG 2012).