Murray–Darling Basin
17.7 Entitled diversion of non-allocated surface water to users

Supporting information

The volumetric value for the line item for the 2011–12 year was 1,614,049 ML. The line item represents entitled diversion of non-allocated surface water, except for to urban water systems, in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) region. Non-allocated surface water diversions are made under water access entitlements, for which no present commitment (water liability) to deliver water to users was recognised.

The following two tables provide a summary and breakdown information for the line item in the MDB region. 

Summary of the entitled diversion of non-allocated surface water to users (excluding urban water systems) in the MDB region during the 2011–12 year
Surface water resource plan (WRP) area State/Terrotory  Volume (ML) for the 2010–11 year 


SW19 Warrego–Paroo–Nebine Qld 12,161
SW18 Condamine–Balonne Qld 393,558
SW17 Moonie Qld 11,601
SW16 Qld Border Rivers Qld 123,395
SW15 NSW Border Rivers NSW 85,186
SW11 Barwon–Darling Watercourse NSW 98,944
SW12 NSW Intersecting Streams NSW 3,309
SW14 Gwydir NSW 151,204
SW13 Namoi NSW 172,857
SW10 Macquarie–Castlereagh NSW 38,680
Sub-total Northern Basin 1,090,894
SW9 Lachlan NSW 15,342
SW8 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW 182,497
SW7 NSW Murray and Lower Darling NSW 289,529
SW3 Northern Victoria Vic. 17,624
SW2 Vic. Murray Vic. 17,422
SW4 Wimmera–Mallee Vic.
SW6 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SA
SW5 SA Murray SA
Sub-total Southern Basin 523,155
Total for the region 1,614,049


Details of entitled diversion of non-allocated surface water to users (excluding urban water systems) in the MDB region during the 2011–12 year
Surface water resource plan (WRP) area

Sustainable diversion limit (SDL) area


Entitlement Class

 Volume (ML) for the 2011–12 year 



SW19 Warrego–Paroo–Nebine SS29 Paroo Qld Unsupplemented 20
SS28 Warrego Qld Unsupplemented 12,141
SS27 Nebine Qld Unsupplemented 0
SW18 Condamine–Balonne SS26  Condamine–Balonne  Qld Unsupplemented 393,558
SW17 Moonie SS25 Moonie Qld Unsupplemented 11,601
SW16 Qld Border Rivers SS24 Qld Border Rivers Qld Unsupplemented 123,395
Sub-total Queensland 540,715
SW15 NSW Border Rivers SS23 NSW Border Rivers  NSW Supplementary 62,186
Unregulated 23,000
Sub-total 85,186
SW11 Barwon–Darling Watercourse SS19 Barwon–Darling Watercourse NSW Unregulated 98,944
SW12 NSW Intersecting Streams SS17 NSW Intersecting Streams   Unregulated 3,309
SW14 Gwydir SS22 Gwydir  NSW Supplementary 107,204
Unregulated 44,000
Sub-total  151,204
SW13 Namoi SS21 Namoi NSW Supplementary 59,857
Unregulated 113,000
Sub-total  172,857
SW10 Macquarie–Castlereagh SS20 Macquarie–Castlereagh NSW Supplementary 3,392
Unregulated 35,288
Sub-total  38,680
SW9 Lachlan SS16 Lachlan NSW Unregulated 15,342
SW8 Murrumbidgee NSW SS15 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW Supplementary 139,785
Unregulated 42,712
Sub-total  206,183
SW7 NSW Murray and Lower Darling SS18 Lower Darling NSW Supplementary 101,822
SS14 NSW Murray NSW Supplementary 160,050
Unregulated 27,657
Sub-total  187,707
Sub-total New South Wales 1,061,233
SW2 Vic. Murray SS3 Kiewa Vic. Unregulated 2,290
SW3 Northern Victoria SS4 Ovens Vic. Unregulated 2,350
SS5 Broken Vic. Unregulated 323
SS6 Goulburn Vic. Unregulated 9,818
SS7 Campaspe Vic. Unregulated 460
SS8 Loddon Vic. Unregulated 4,673
SW2 Vic. Murray SS2 Vic. Murray Vic. Unregulated 15,132
Sub-total Victoria 35,046
SW1 ACT SS1 ACT ACT Unregulated– multi-purpose 740
Sub-total Australian Capital Territory 740
Total for the region 1,614,049


Further Information for Queensland

Queensland data includes unsupplemented irrigation water allocation with flow conditions, unsupplemented irrigation allocation without flow conditions and unsupplemented water licences diversions. The overland flow take estimation is shown under line item 17.5 Overbank flood spilling.

Further Information for New South Wales

New South Wales data in the previous table includes supplementary diversions in the regulated system and unregulated diversions in the unregulated systems. Although the line item name refers to non-allocated diversions, supplementary diversions are allocated by an available water determination following an announcement process as with the other allocated diversions.

The volume for unregulated entitlement class for Murrumbidgee NSW includes 338 ML uncontrolled water use in regulated supply area.

New South Wales data includes 4,183 ML of water diverted from the unregulated Fish River within the Macquarie–Castlereagh region to Delta Electricity and Lithgow City Council, (for use outside the MDB region) via the Fish River Water Supply Scheme under a commercial arrangement.

Further Information for Australian Capital Territory

In addition to the Australian Capital Territory volume stated in the above table, Murrumbidgee New South Wales volumes include Australian Capital Territory supplies for which Murrumbidgee New South Wales SDL area is the supply source.  

Australian Capital Territory volume provided in this line item includes diversions of unregulated flows under multi-use licences for non-potable water within the Australian Capital Territory. It includes urban use for licensed abstraction within the urban area, and other use for licensed abstraction outside the urban area.


Quantification approach

Data source

(1) New South Wales Office of Water: water accounting section; (2) Environmental and Sustainable Development Directorate (ESDD) of the ACT Government: water resource information database; and (3) Murray–Darling Basin Authority: water audit monitoring (WAM) data received from New South Wales (22 January 2013), Queensland (4 February 2013) and Victoria (21 March 2013), and stored in the HYDRO database.

Provided by

Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau).


Australian Capital Territory SDL area: Individual licensees submit monthly meter readings to the Australian Capital Territory Environment Protection Authority on an annual basis. Where a licensee has not provided meter data, the EPA estimates usage based on historical usage data.

Other SDL areas: Volumes provided through WAM sources and NSW Office of Water's water accounting section were either measured, modelled or estimated.


Assumptions, limitations, caveats and approximations

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

Estimates of uncertainty of the diversions are indicative of the accuracy of bulk diversions only.

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.

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

ACT SDL area: More than 60% of meters are inspected each year to validate the readings supplied by licensees. Estimated uncertainty for meter accuracy is +/–5%. Uncertainty cannot be quantified for estimated usage where meters were not read.

Other SDL areas: The tables below show the WAM uncertainty definitions and the measurement method applied that relates to the reported uncertainty percentage, and the WAM uncertainty percentage for each entitlement class for each State. 


Uncertainty definitions for WAM data
Uncertainty 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

WAM uncertainty percentage for each entitlement class associated with entitled diversion of non-allocated surface water to users for each jurisdiction
Jurisdiction All entitlement classes in following SDL areas WAM uncertainty (%)
Qld Paroo  40
Qld Warrego 40
Qld Nebine 40
Qld Condamine–Balonne 5–40
Qld Moonie System 20
Qld Border Rivers 5–40
NSW Border Rivers 5–40
NSW Intersecting Stream 40
NSW Gwydir 5–40
NSW Namoi 5–40
NSW Macquarie–Castlereagh 5–40
NSW Lachlan 40
NSW Upper Darling 20
NSW Lower Darling The uncertainty estimate was not quantified
NSW Murrumbidgee 5–40
NSW Murray 5–40
Vic. Kiewa 15
Vic. Ovens 18
Vic. Broken 10
Vic. Goulburn 5
Vic. Campaspe 40
Vic. Loddon 40
Vic. Murray The uncertainty estimate was not quantified

Comparative year

This line item corresponds to line item 17.7 Non-allocated diversions to users reported in the 2011 Account.