All water recovery figures are expressed in gigalitres per year long-term average annual yield (GL/y) terms and rounded to the nearest decimal place.
Water recovery factors
There are over 150 different types of water entitlement within the Murray–Darling Basin. Water recovery factors are an accounting tool that enable different types of entitlement to be counted on equal terms to track the volumes of water that have been recovered, in a way that is consistent and accurate across the Basin. They are used to determine the amount of water recovered against recovery targets in each SDL resource unit, as required under the Basin Plan. These factors are also known as long-term diversion limit equivalent factors. The department calculates the long-term value of water in line with the methodology to calculate long-term diversion limit equivalents and the Basin Plan.
All water recovery volumes are expressed in gigalitres per year long-term average annual yield (GL/y) terms. Basin states have been updating planning assumptions and calculation methods incorporating the most recent information including how much water has been recovered for the environment, historical water patterns, climatic data and trade information. The process has resulted in some changes to the remaining gap bridging water recovery volumes. The update will be complete when all cap factors are revised, and state Water Resource Plans (WRPs) are accredited by the Minister.
Data is shown with updated factors consistent with accredited WRPs or is shown with updated factors for New South Wales.
Basin state reports on the determination of long-term diversion limit factor can be found at:
- Queensland water recovery accounting factors
- New South Wales water recovery accounting factors
- Victorian water recovery accounting factors
- South Australia water recovery accounting factors
SDL resource unit shared reduction targets
The shared reduction amount for an SDL resource unit is determined as described in s6.05 of the Basin Plan. The Basin Plan allowed Basin states to request a redistribution of shared reduction amounts. Valid shared reduction requests were received from Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. These requests were applied following agreement by the MDBA and the department on 12 March 2019.
Impact of the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism on gap bridging recovery
The SDLAM amendment instrument commenced in law on the 13 January 2018 and applies to surface water SDL resource units only.
As set out in the Basin Plan, the SDLAM adds flexibility to the SDLs by allowing equivalent environmental outcomes of the Basin Plan to be achieved through more efficient use of environmental water (Supply Measures) and further environmental outcomes to those agreed in the Basin Plan that achieve neutral or improved socio-economic outcomes through improvements to irrigation efficiency (Efficiency Measures).
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) assessment of the package of supply measures nominated by state governments, allows the SDLs in the southern Murray-Darling Basin to be adjusted upwards by 605 GL/y, reducing environmental water recovery by this amount across the southern Basin.
Efficiency measures contribution to the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism
The SDLAM includes a rule limiting the range of change for the Basin-wide SDL to net ±5%. This means that at least 62 GL/y must be recovered through efficiency measures for the full 605 GL/y supply contribution to be available. This 62 GL/y ‘Efficiency Contribution’ is a subset of the larger 450 GL/y target. The table below shows progress towards this target as at 30 April 2022.
It is important to note that that, individual SDL resource units may increase or decrease by greater than 5%, as long as the net Basin-wide SDL remains within the range.
|Murray-Darling Basin (all units in GL/y)||Target||Total water recovery registered to the CEWH||Total contracted water recovery (including registered volume)||Recovery remaining|
|Total Basin||62.0 GL/y||2.0 GL/y||23.9 GL/y||38.1 GL/y|
These are indicative figures based on current calculation methods – see Water recovery accounting for details.
The following links provide further information on water recovery: