Ord
Future outlook

Future prospects

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


Table 1  Future prospects for the Ord region
  Volume
(ML)
   
Total water assets as at 30 June 2012 10,775,781
Less water assets not available to be accessed, taken or delivered:  
Dead storage 411,175
Conveyance water  0
   
Less total water liabilities as at 30 June 2012 310,245
Subtotal 10,054,361
Less future commitments expected to be settled within 12 months of the reporting date  
Expected diversions of surface water 296,000
Expected extractions of groundwater 14,000
Expected releases of surface water for hydro power
2,000,000
   
Surplus / (deficit) of available water assets over water liabilities and future commitments expected to be settled within 12 months of the reporting date 7,744,361


Expected diversions, extractions and releases of water are based on abstractions made during the 2011–12 year; however, it is estimated that the volume of surface water diverted for irrigation will increase by approximately 80,000 ML to 120,000 ML in the next two years due to the expansion of the Ord River Irrigation Area (see Water overview).

Future water commitments in the Ord region are likely to be met by future water inflows. Based on recent data (last ten years), future inflows to surface water storages in the region are likely to be between 2,000,000 ML and 3,000,000 ML per year.

Contingent water assets and water liabilities

Purpose of the note

The purpose of this note is to report on possible water asset and possible 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 Water sets extraction limits on groundwater aquifers to protect groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Only water above the prescribed minimum water-table level is recognised as a water asset in the account. 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 Ord region to allow for a volumetric estimate.

 

Contingent water liabilities

Water for irrigation use (275,000 ML): The Ord Irrigation Cooperative controls the distribution of water to its members for irrigation. It is estimated that 275,000 ML will need to be delivered in the 2012–13 year. The amount of water delivered is contingent on the irrigators of the Ord Irrigation Cooperative drawing water from the system.

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

Water for private use (32,000 ML): The Department of Water allocates water to individual users (e.g. mining, industrial and agricultural sectors); however, the actual delivery of the water is contingent on when customers use the water. It is estimated that 32,000 ML will need to be delivered in the 2012–13 year (20,000 ML from surface water and 12,000 ML from groundwater stores).