Upcoming irrigation water availability – sMDB

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Upcoming irrigation water availability update – pilot

This aim of this update service is to reduce some of the uncertainty about upcoming irrigation water availability in the connected sMDB and to assist with earlier and more informed farm management decision making.

A BIG THANK YOU to Tim Robinson (AgVic Kerang) who kindly did these updates for the last few weeks, while I was away on rec-leave.


Rain continued on the plains over the past 7 days, while some relatively high falls occurred in the upper Murray and upper Goulburn.

  Rainfall over the last 7 days (to 9am today – Thursday):
Kerang 9mm
Echuca 21mm
Kyabram 20mm
Shepparton 21mm
Cobram 16mm
Benalla 23mm
Albury 29mm
Lake Dartmouth 53mm
Hunters Hill (upper Murray) 102mm
Biggara (upper Murray)
Hinnomunjie (upper Murray) 23mm
Mt Buffalo 107mm
Falls Creek 50mm
Mt Hotham 87mm
Dohertys (upper Goulburn) 72mm
Mt Buller 92mm
Jamieson (upper Goulburn) 77mm
Tonga Bridge (upper Goulburn) 28mm
Lake Eildon 24mm


Rainfall over the last 7 days is also shown in the BoM rainfall map below.



Over the next 8 days, 5mm to 25mm is forecast for much of the irrigated plains and 20mm to 50mm is forecast in the Murray and Goulburn upper-catchments.


Murray System

Today (Thursday) at Jingellic (on the Murray River above Hume Dam, but below Snowy Hydro), the streamflow is 23,695 ML/day.  Over the last 7 days, the daily streamflow at Jingellic has averaged 22,620 ML/day, which is considerably higher than the long-term median July streamflow (1890 to 2021) of 5,796 ML/day.

Today (Thursday) at Hinnomunjie (on the Mitta Mitta River, above Dartmouth Dam), the streamflow is 5,300 ML/day.  Over the last 7 days, the daily streamflow at Hinnomunjie has averaged 2,310 ML/day, which is higher than the long-term median July streamflow (1931 to 2021) of 1,190 ML/day.

Last week the MDBA reported the volume in Hume and Dartmouth reservoirs increased by 178GL and 45GL respectively, in the 7 day period to 21 July. (See the ‘Water Storage’ table below.)

The MDBA graph below shows the total Murray system ‘5-day rolling average’ daily inflows.  The graph was released for the week ending Wednesday, 21 July.  Total inflows sky-rocketed in the 5-day period leading up to 21 June to ‘well above’ the long-term average inflows for this time of year. (Yaay!)


 Goulburn System

Today (Thursday) at Doherty’s (above Lake Eildon), the steamflow is 5,525 ML/day.

Over the last 7 days, the daily streamflow at Doherty’s has averaged 4,720 ML/day, which is considerably higher than the long-term median July streamflow (1967 to 2021) of 1,530 ML/day.


Today, much of the upper-Murray catchment have ‘above average’ root zone soil moisture.

Rootzone soil moisture in the upper-Murray:


Today, large parts of the upper-Goulburn catchment have above average root zone soil moisture (relative to long-term moisture levels.)


Rootzone soil moisture information for the Broken, Campaspe and Loddon catchments is also available on the web.


Today’s BoM climate outlook for August to October is for above median rainfall, as shown in the map below.


Storage volume 21 July

Storage Current supply (GL) Current supply Weekly change (GL)
Dartmouth 2 620 68% +45
Hume 2 099 70% +178GL
Eildon 2 073 62% +88GL
(Lake) Victoria 473 70% +50
Menindee 1 141 66% +37
Burrinjuck 1 015 99% +37
Blowering 1 583 97% +17
Eucumbene 671 57%* +27

*Relative to the target storage.
Source:  MDBA River Murray Weekly Report.



USEFUL WEB SITES – for more information related to upcoming irrigation water availability


Recent rainfall.  Map.  Rainfall for the past day, week or months.  BoM

Recent rainfall.  For select Victorian locations.  Past 7 days. BoM

Rainfall since 9am.  Updated every half hour.  For select locations.  Rainfall (temperaturre and wind) shown on map as coloured text.  Click on “weather observations” (bottom right of screen).  Double click on the weather station (location) on the map for more details.  “Rain radar.”  BoM

Forecast rainfall.  Map.  For next 4-day or 8-day period, or for any particular day over the next 5 days.  BoM

Forecast rainfall.  For nominated location. 7-day outlook.  Forecast rainfall (wind and temperature) given in 3-hour windows.  “MetEye.”  BoM

MDBA Weekly River Murray Report.  Provides a weekly review of rainfall and lots of other important updates for the connected southern MDB

Streamflow response and inflows

Murray system.  MDBA Weekly Report.  Inflow graphs are at the back of the report.  Compares recent inflows with long-term averages.  Weekly streamflow response commentary is also provided at the front of the report

Murray system.  Click on a site (eg.Hinnomunjie or Jingellic) and select the “Flow” tab.  Updated daily.  MDBA

Goulburn system.  Doherty’s, Jamieson, Gerrans Bridge and Glen Esk are some monitoring sites above Lake Eildon.  Updated daily.  GMW

Goulburn Murray storage inflow data.  Graphs of relative monthly inflows.  Analysis of monthly and year-to-date inflows.  NVRM

Campaspe, Broken, Loddon, Ovens and Kiewa Basins.  Updated through the day.  GMW

River flood condition.  Current.  Graphs of recent river height relative to minor, moderate and major flood levels.  BoM

Flood class level.  Shows minor, moderate and major flood levels for different monitoring sites.  BoM

Annual streamflow differences and streamflow data.  For many Australian locations (“Hydrological Reference Stations”.)  Daily, monthly and annual streamflow data and analysis.  BoM

Surface water monitoring sites.  Vic.  Stream level.  Streamflow data and reports.  DELWP

Streamflow forecasts

Seasonal streamflow forecast.  Up to 3-month forecast.  eg.  Forecast inflows for Lakes Hume, Dartmouth, Eildon, Eppalock or Nillahcootie.  BoM

7-day streamflow forecast.  eg. For locations in the upper-Murray, upper-Goulburn, Campaspe or Loddon.  BoM

Murray system.  Click on a site (eg. Hinnomunjie or Jingelic) and select the “Flow Forecast” tab.  7-day forecast.  MDBA

Catchment condition

Current relative long-term rootzone soil moisture.  Map and graph.  eg. Type “Upper Murray River,” “Goulburn River” or “Broken River” into the Search Bar.  BoM

Seasonal water determinations

Current Northern Vic allocations.  Current allocations for the different Northern Victorian irrigation systems.  NVRM

Historical Northern Vic allocations. Historical allocations data for the different Northern Victorian irrigation systems, back to 1994-95.  NVRM

Current and historical NSW allocations.  Water Alloction Statements, iIncluding NSW Murray and Murrumbidgee.  DPIE

Current and historical SA allocations.  Water Allocation Statements and pre-season announcements.  DEW

MDBA Weekly River Murray Update.  Summary of water allocations for different vallies in the sMDB, usually on the last page of the report

 Water allocation outlooks

Northern Vic.  Current outlook for the different Northern Vic irrigation systems.  NVRM

NSW.  Includes NSW Murray and Murrumbidgee.  The water outlook is included in the relevant Water Allocation Statements, usually on the back page of the report.  DPIE

Northern Vic Water Balance (“rocket”) diagrams.   Graph showing a breakdown of the water in store and water commitments, for each Northern Vic irrigation district.  NVRM

Climate outlook

Climate outlook.  Weeks, months and seasons.  BoM

Climate Driver Update.  Over-all summary.  Pacific Ocean.  Indian Ocean.  Southern Ocean.  Sea surface.  Issued fortnightly.  BoM

The Fast Break.  A farmer-oriented update of seasonal climate drivers and outlooks, including a summary of rainfall predictions for the next 3 months from 12 different climate models.  AgVic

Climate driver tool.  Interactive tool that enables you to explore how rainfall at your selected location has been influenced by different climate driver phases, in the past.  The tool also provides analysis of long-term rainfall records.  AgVic, GRDC and SARDI

Weather warnings

Victorian warnings.  Summary of valid weather warnings issued, including floods.  BoM

 Water storage

MDBA River Murray Weekly Report:
– Graph showing ‘MDB Active Storage’, recent and over the last 20 years.  This graph only appears monthly, usually in the first week of the month
– A summary of storage volumes and weekly volume changes for southern MDB storages are given in tables (usually on about page 3)

Northern Vic Resource Manager.  Provides a breakdown of volumes currently available in allocation accounts, new allocation volumes in the current season, volumes carried over into the season, volumes in spillable accounts and net trade – for each irrigation district and for private, environmental and Water Corp holdings

 Carryover volumes

Northern Vic Resource Manager.  Shows carryover volumes for each irrigation district

NSW.  Carryover percentages for NSW Murray and Murrumbidgee systems are usually included in the Water Allocation Statements (usually in a table on page 1).  DPIE

  1. SA. Developments regarding SA carryover and whether or not it is available in an irrigation season, are typically found in the pre-season announcements. DEW

Vic Carryover Tool.  To help you work through carryover scenarios for your unique Vic farm situation.  DELWP (Vic Water Register)

Risk of spill announcements

Northern Victorian Resource Manager.  Sometimes the Vic risk of spill information is included in the Seasonal Outlook announcements

 Current state shares in Murray storages

MDBA Storages.  Displays the shares of the MDBA “Active Storages” (Lakes Hume, Dartmouth, Menindee and Victoria) for Vic, NSW and SA.  This site also shows the relative “air space” for each share (Vic, NSW & SA).  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the PDF for the latest update. MDBA

 Intervalley trade

Goulburn IVT 

Opportunity for allocation trade.  Interactive tool.  Vic Water Register web site

Planned monthly IVT transfers.  Scroll down to the heading “Planned Inter-Valley Trade Transfers.”  GMW web site

Barmah Choke

Barmah Choke trade balance.  Current and historic trade balance data.  MDBA web site

Allocation trade opportunity.  Interactive tool.  Vic Water Register web site

Murrumbidgee IVT

IVT Status.  Provides the current Murrumbidgee IVT Account Balance, whether trade is open or closed and backgound information.  WaterNSW site

Annual plan for MDB IVT

MDBA River Murray System Annual Operating Outlooks. Outlines potential scenarios of IVT delivery for the irrigation season ahead

District water use and trade – Northern Vic

District Water Use.  Water used in different Northen Victorian irrigation districts by private, environment and water corp owners.  NVRM web site

Net Trade for Districts.  Trade in and trade out, for different Northen Victorian irrigation districts by private, environment and water corp owners.  NVRM web site

 Water Market Outlook

ABARES Dashboard.  Water Market Outlook for sMDB water allocation prices in 2021-22 for wet, average and dry scenarios.  Created in March 2021.  Water market reports are also provided.

 Water market updates

Subscribe to these weekly water market reports:

Weekly Water Market Report.  H2OX

Weekly Newsletter.  Ruralco

Weekly Water Report.  Waterfind

Weekly Water Wrap.  Waterpool


This publication is provided solely for information purposes and no representation or warranty is made as to its quality, accuracy, completeness, suitability or fitness for any particular purpose. You should make your own inquiries as to its appropriateness and suitability for your particular circumstances. The State of Victoria as represented by its Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions accepts no duty of care and disclaims all liability in relation to use of this publication.



This “Upcoming irrigation water availability update” service is a pilot and will be provided on an ‘as-needs’ basis, or it may be scrapped completely, depending on your feed-back.  If you would like to provide any feedback about this report or have ideas on how it could be improved, please contact me (Rob O’Connor – contact details below).

To unsubscribe, please respond to robert.oconnor@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Robert O’Connor
Senior Irrigation Officer.  Biosecurity and Agricultural Services Branch
Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
P.O. Box 441, Echuca, VIC, 3564
M: 0408 515 652

T: 03 5483 1922  | F: 03 5482 5405  Currently working from home.




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