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National Water Account 2017

Fitzroy: Governance

Isla Gorge, Fitzroy Basin (© Greg Keir)

Accountability statement

1. This water accounting report has been prepared and presented in accordance with the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1, with the following exceptions:

  • No Assurance Statement was prepared because the standard for, and practice of, assurance of water accounting reports are currently not available.
  • Notes on the quantification approaches and levels of uncertainty are incomplete because the knowledge base is often inadequate.
  • No information is disclosed about material events that occurred after 30 June 2017, such as extreme precipitation and significant water rights purchases. This information is publicly available elsewhere.
  • Asset changes for water stores (surface water and groundwater) have been included in the Statement of Changes in Water Assets and Water Liabilities, without a corresponding water store asset volume being included in the Statement of Water Assets and Water Liabilities for the following item:

        – Underlying aquifer

    This is because water store flows could be quantified but storage volumes for these items could not.
  • The volumes of water assets and water liabilities including the volumes of changes to water assets and water liabilities that failed the recognition criteria were reported in the water accounting statements with dashes ('–') in order to highlight data and knowledge gaps that may affect the water accounting statement balances.

2. The report has been compiled from the best data available, as detailed in the water accounting statement Notes, in the time available to compile it from a number of sources. The Bureau of Meteorology takes a nationally-consistent approach to report preparation and presentation, but for a few line items there may be local data of higher quality that were not used.

3. All significant and specific interpretations of the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1 for the purpose of the preparation of this report are explained in the 'Water accounting policies' note. The Bureau of Meteorology is responsible for these interpretations.

 

Robert Argent

General Manager Water

Bureau of Meteorology

7 June 2018

 

Water accounting policies

Introduction

The information presented in the Fitzroy region water accounting report is based on collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

No information was available for the Fitzroy Barrage water supply scheme (WSS) and it was not included in the report.

The report has been prepared using an accrual basis of water accounting, with the exception of the water flow information. The water attribute being quantified is volume and the unit of account is megalitres (ML). Where a reported volume is negative, it is shown in brackets. The applicable reporting period is from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017.

Transactions between water assets and water liabilities within the region (e.g., between the surface water store and the groundwater store) are not reported in the water accounting statements because they do not affect the region's total water assets and water liabilities.

 

Recognition of water assets and water liabilities

Only water that is held or managed by the State or Territory licensing authority or the urban utilities and from which a future probable benefit can be derived by the region's stakeholders is defined as a water asset.

Water liabilities are constituted by present commitments to supply water, the discharge of which is expected to result in a probable decrease of the region's water assets or a probable increase in another water liability.

Provided its volume can be quantified in a way that is complete, neutral, and free from material error, the volume of the water asset or water liability is recognised in the Statement of Water Assets and Water Liabilities.

Water held in storages that has already been abstracted from the entitlement system is deemed not to be part of the region (regardless of the storage's size or connection to the system). This is because the attendant water right has already been exercised.

 

Recognition of changes in water assets and water liabilities

The increases and decreases to the reported water assets and water liabilities consist of changes that can be quantified in a way that is complete, neutral, and free from material error. These volumes are presented in the Statement of Changes in Water Assets and Water Liabilities and the Statement of Water Flows.

Precipitation and evaporation are recognised only in relation to the surfaces of open storage volumes. They do not represent all precipitation and evaporation within the region (notably, these processes occurring from the landscape are not captured).

That portion of runoff that flows into the surface water store (storages and rivers) is quantified and recognised on the Statement of Changes in Water Assets and Water Liabilities. This runoff includes precipitation captured in the catchment less evaporation and infiltration, and is recorded as runoff to surface water.

Allocations announced on regulated entitlements have been recognised as increases in water liabilities. Note that the definition of regulated or unregulated entitlements for the purpose of the National Water Account (refer to 'Glossary') may be different to the meaning applied by the jurisdiction. Please refer to the Water rights, entitlements, allocations and restrictions note for more information on allocations.

 

Water assets and water liabilities that fail the recognition criteria

The volumes of several water assets identified in the Fitzroy region were not reported in the water accounting statements but replaced by dashes ('–') as they 'failed the recognition criteria' specified in the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1 because:

  • they could not be quantified in a way that is complete, neutral, and free from material error; and/or
  • they were unlikely to provide a future benefit to the region or the region's stakeholders.

Water assets that failed the recognition criteria includes (see Water assets note in 'Supporting information'):

  • Underlying aquifers

Water assets did not include Selma Weir and Comet Weir because there was no data to quantify the asset volume in a way that is complete, neutral and free from material error. The Mundic Gully storage was not included in the water assets because this storage is unlikely to provide future benefit.  This storage is on the abandoned Mt Morgan mine site, and essentially the water is not used for any purpose. Rather, water is held in this storage to ensure it does not leak or seep into the environment and pollute local river systems.

 

Changes to water assets and water liabilities that fail the recognition criteria

The volumes of several changes to water assets and water liabilities identified in the Fitzroy region were not reported in the water accounting statements but replaced by dashes ('–') as they 'failed the recognition criteria' specified in the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1, because:

  • they could not be quantified in a way that is complete, neutral, and free from material error; and/or
  • they were unlikely to provide a future benefit to the region or the region's stakeholders.

The following five items failed the recognition criteria (see Groundwater store note in 'Supporting information').

  • Inter-region inflow
  • Recharge: landscape
  • Inter-region outflow
  • Discharge: landscape
  • Extraction: statutory rights
 

Reconciliations

Introduction

The following reconciliation tables verify:

  • how the region’s closing water storage in the Statement of Water Flows reconciles with the total water assets reported in the Statement of Water Assets and Water Liabilities
  • how the region’s change in water storage in the Statement of Water Flows reconciles with the change in net water assets reported in the Statement of Changes in Water Assets and Water Liabilities.

 

Closing water storage with total water assets

 

Table N1 Reconciliation of closing water storage with total water assets for the Fitzroy region
 2017
ML
  
Closing water storages as presented in the Statement of Water Flows1,107,743
Surface water 1,093,119
Storages955,236
Rivers137,883
Groundwater 14,624
Water table aquifer14,624
Underlying aquifers
Total water storage as presented in the 
Statement of Water Assets and Water Liabilities
1,107,743
  
add Other water assets0
  
Total water assets1,107,743

 

Net change in water storage with the change in net water assets

 

Table N2 Reconciliation of the net change in water storage with the change in net water assets for the Fitzroy region
 2017
ML
Change in net water assets as presented in the Statement of Changes of Water Assets and Water Liabilities 189,168
adjustments for: 
Change in non-physical water assets0
  
Change in water liabilities 
Surface water liability 
Allocation remaining: individual users0
Allocation remaining: urban system0
Allocation remaining: irrigation schemes0
Groundwater liability 
Allocation remaining: individual users0
Allocation remaining: urban system0
Allocation remaining: irrigation schemes0
Total change in water liabilities0
  
Net change in water storage as presented in the Statement of Water Flows189,168