End of Season. Newsletter 2013/2014. Tips to secure your water

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1 End of Season Newsletter 2013/2014 Tips to secure your water

2 Managing Director s Message This year GMW has started to deliver on a number of key promises that were made to customers last year. The first was our commitment to remove operational inefficiencies from the business; the second, the delivery of stable and predictable pricing. In February this year we projected that the efforts of our efficiency and red tape removal work to date will save irrigators some $2.5million over the next 3 years. We ve reduced the fees and process times for the following: Title search cost changes: previous charge $53 per title search, now $30. License Transfer fee reduced from $700 to $182. Integration of water forms into Connections Project legal agreements removed the need for up to 20 forms. Automated allocation trades reduce cost from $77.60 to $ Also reduced wait time from 5 working days to most applications being processed overnight. Groundwater stock and domestic bore 3-4 week application time now 7 days. Fee reduction $953 $375. These savings are in addition to the $6 million already realised through our recent transformation process. Of course removing costs from the business means that we ve been able to deliver stable pricing and this year we have been pleased to announce that pricing for 2014/2015 will be well below the expectations for Water Plan 3. What this means is that a number of customers will experience either price reductions or less than CPI price changes. A terrific outcome for customers who have had yet another busy irrigation season. We know we have more to do and will continue to focus on being as efficient as possible. Each year we aim to reach 100% allocation to high-reliability water shares and this year all our systems achieved this goal. Yet is has been a year of two distinct seasons. Good inflows were enjoyed early on. There were large spills from Lake Hume, which reduced the volume in spillable water accounts. For many Murray irrigators, this was the first time they had experienced the loss of spillable water. Eildon didn t quite fill and there were no spills this year. From spring onwards, the weather turned very dry and challenged our irrigators. It was particularly hard when the allocation of low-reliability water shares many people expected this season did not eventuate. This unpredictability of nature is a prime example why the Government develops systems such as carryover and spill. They allow you to plan and have some control over the stability of your water in the coming year and future years. To help you prepare for the next season we ve explained some of these concepts and listed key dates you need to know. Just remember we are always here to support you, please contact us if you need further assistance Don t Lose $ s and Water Take action now to ensure that you don t lose water. Manage your allocation to get the best possible financial outcome. Losing allocation is like pouring money down the drain. So, to ensure your water is secure, here are your end of season options and actions to take before 30 June. Option Sell your allocation Relinquish your allocation Carryover your allocation Action You need to find a buyer privately or use a water broker to settle the trade before the end of the irrigation season. If you don t want to carry over water into the next season you can apply to relinquish your allocation. This will save you money by avoiding extra fees to store water above your entitlement volume. There is no charge to relinquish water. Please contact GMW for assistance. Follow the steps listed on the next page. 2 End of Season Newsletter 2013/2014

3 Carryover Planning Your Carryover Before 30 June, make sure your water is in an allocation account linked to your water share. If it isn t, any unused allocation will be written off at the end of this season. Remember if you re on the Murray system the limit on carryover comes in on 30 June this year. The limit means you can t carry over more than 100% of the volume of the water shares linked to your allocation account. Read our Murray Carryover Limit article for more information. Finally, your unused allocation must be in an account linked to enough water share to meet your carryover needs. If you recently sold water share or bought allocation but only hold a small water share volume, talk to GMW about how the carryover limit could affect you. To understand how carryover and spillable water work for water shares linked to your ABA, you can use the carryover calculator on the Water Register website: water-entitlements/carryover/ carryover-calculator Tips for Trading If you need to trade water allocation between your allocation accounts allow enough time to make any changes to your accounts and water shares. It takes a minimum of five working days to transfer water between allocation accounts unless you use the Water Register s online portal. For up to date information on the processing timeframes for water trades with GMW visit: water-trading Read the Online Trading article for hot tips to speed up trade time! Loddon, Broken & Bullarook Systems If you are a customer on one of these systems you can carry over a maximum volume equal to 50% of your high-reliability water share and 50% of your low-reliability water share. Just make sure all water shares are linked to the same allocation account you want to carryover water into. Key Things to Understand How Carryover and Spillable Water Will Work in the 2014/2015 Season How much you carry over against your water shares can affect how much water will be available to you in the new season. So when preparing for the 2014/2015 season; remember that you are only guaranteed access to carryover and new allocation up to 100% of your full water share volume. Once your full water share volume is reached, any further allocation increases are recorded in your account as spillable water. You cannot use or trade spillable water until the Northern Victorian Resource Manager is confident the dams will not spill later in the season and announces a low risk of spill declaration. Use the carryover calculator on the Water Register website and see how this works for your water share: water-entitlements/carryover/ carryover-calculator When spills happen, a percentage is deducted from the spillable accounts of all entitlement holders, including towns, irrigators and the Victorian and Commonwealth Environmental Water Holders. You can find accurate details of the water carried over, allocated, spilled and used this year at: water-availability-and-use/ unused-water Tips for Spills The Northern Victorian Resource Manager makes announcements about the risk of spill on 1 July and the 10th of each month until a low risk of spill declaration is made. The spill indicator for the Victorian Murray irrigation system changed from Lake Dartmouth to Hume Dam in July This Hume-based rule protects allocations to Victorian Murray irrigators. End of Season Newsletter 2013/2014 3

4 Charges You will be charged a fee for any water made available above your water share volume. Fees do not apply to water that spills. If you don t want to carry over water into the next season you can apply to relinquish your allocation or you could sell it. This will save you money by avoiding extra fees to store water above your entitlement volume. Please ensure you have enough water shares to meet your carryover needs. Contact GMW for assistance. Murray Carryover Limit At the end of this season, from 30 June there is a limit on the volume of water allocation you can carry over on the Murray system into the 2014/2015 season. The limit means you can t carry over into the next season more than 100% of your water share volume linked to your allocation account. If you have more water in your allocation account than the total volume of water shares linked to it, it will be written off on 30 June This rule change on the Murray was announced as part of the 2012 Carryover Review. The limit was introduced first on the Goulburn and Campaspe irrigation systems at the end of 2012/2013, and is continuing on those systems. The Minister for Water allowed another year for the introduction of the Murray limit to give water users extra time to adjust their water shares. Understanding Allocation Accounts Allocations made to your water share through the season are credited to an allocation account. The account is sometimes called an ABA, which is shorthand for allocation bank account (the word bank isn t used anymore, but the shorthand abbreviation still is). Here are some helpful tips about allocation accounts: The balance of an allocation account is the amount of water available for the current season. The volume of your water share is the maximum amount of allocation that can be made against it each year. The seasonal determination is the percentage of your water share volume available under current conditions, as determined by the Resource Manager. A 100% seasonal determination means that you have your full water share volume available. You cannot carry over more than 100% of the total volume of water shares you own. The breakdown of this volume depends upon the system you are on. Loddon, Broken and Bullarook Systems can only carry over a maximum volume equal to 50% of your high-reliability water share and 50% of your low-reliability water share. Any water allocation you haven t used will carry over at the end of the season as long as it s in an allocation account linked to your water share. 4 End of Season Newsletter 2013/2014

5 Online Trading It s Quick and Easy There is now automated approval for allocation trades submitted online through most brokers. You can also sign up for online trading if you want to manage your own allocation trades. Access to online allocation trading means you can: trade your allocation with near-instant approval in most cases check for errors before you submit your application view your allocation account transactions and balance see previous years account statements, and generate an up to date statement for the current financial year. Signing up for online allocation trade means application fees are cheaper and your trades are approved faster. It s free to register for online access. To register or nominate someone as your authorised agent you need to: complete Form 39a (enclosed with this newsletter) make sure all owners of the allocation account sign the form, and submit the form to GMW. Low-Reliability Water Shares The Northern Victorian Resource Manager has announced that low-reliability water share allocations will not be available in the Goulburn, Loddon and Murray systems in the 2013/2014 season. Unfortunately water inflows into the GMW storages within these systems were very low after spring Inflows to the Goulburn system since the start of this season were about 700 gigalitres less than the long term average. The Murray system inflows were about 1,300 gigalitres below average. At the end of March there was a 140 gigalitre shortfall to allocating low-reliability water shares in the Goulburn and Loddon systems and the shortfall in the Murray system was 510 gigalitres. The allocation policy for the Goulburn and Murray systems emphasises the importance of maximising allocations for high-reliability water shares. This is why water allocations are first dedicated to high-reliability water shares. Allocations of low-reliability water shares are only made when there is enough water to meet high-reliability water shares in the following season. This policy gives GMW customers a little more peace of mind for the year to come. The shortfalls to announcing low-reliability water share allocations in the Goulburn, Loddon and Murray systems show that a seasonal allocation of 100% high-reliability water shares is close, but not yet assured, in 2014/2015. For more information on low-reliability water shares, go to the Northern Victorian Resource Manager webpage at: Tip There will not be any allocation updates after 1 April The next update will be on 1 July and refer to the 2014/2015 season. Once the allocation reaches 100% of high-reliability water shares, any extra water is reserved so 100% of highreliability water shares will be available in the following season. The additional water includes what is actually in storages and future inflows to the end of the following season. End of Season Newsletter 2013/2014 5

6 Allocation Trade Limits Controls have been implemented on allocation trades to the Victorian side of the River Murray and trades between states. The controls help to avoid sudden suspensions being imposed on allocation trade. The controls limit the volume of allocation that can be traded each season between the following areas: From New South Wales Goulburn system or Campaspe system or Loddon system To Victoria The Victorian side of the River Murray or New South Wales or South Australia Customers participating in the water trading market can monitor trade availability on the Water Register website: waterregister.vic.gov.au/water-trading/ allocation-trading Further information about what the limits are and why they are in place is also available on the Water Register website. Meter Reading If you see a GMW employee on your property in May or June they re probably reading your water meter. Meters are read to verify your water usage which will be listed on your end of season account. Diversions Customers We start reading surface water and groundwater meters in May so if you would like to use water during May or June please contact your GMW Diversion Inspector. Also tell your Diversion Inspector if you use any water after 30 April. They need to know by Friday 20 June this year. If you don t inform GMW, any usage will be accounted as 2014/2015 usage. Gravity Customers GMW will commence meter readings in the first week of May. Winter Water Tips We cannot guarantee that GMW channels will have a reliable water level during winter. So make sure you have an alternate water supply available from 15 May to 15 August just in case. Channel draining and lowering is required to help identify and conduct maintenance. It also helps to locate potential flow restrictions and is an opportunity to control aggressive weeds. Although this may be inconvenient, it is an essential, annual task which helps us to ensure delivery of quick and reliable water to you. After all, a well maintained channel reduces water loss which means more water for you. More Information or call GMW on End of Season Newsletter 2013/2014

7 Important Dates Save and stick to these deadlines, to make sure the water you use is deducted from the correct season s allocation. They also help GMW reduce water losses by developing better planning. This helps to improve next years allocation, providing more water for everyone. 11 May Last day for placing water orders to ensure delivery prior to the end of season. 15 May End of irrigation season. 30 May Last day for land applications (delivery share and water use licence amalgamations and subdivisions) to be submitted to ensure they can be completed prior to 30 June. 30 May Last day for placing delivery share transfer applications. This will ensure they are completed before final variable accounts are issued in June. 30 May Last day for water share applications to be submitted to ensure processing prior to 30 June. 20 June Last day for allocation trade applications to be submitted to ensure processing before the 30 June. 20 June If you are a diversions customer and use water after 30 April, advise your Diversions Inspector by this date. Workshops for You GMW will be holding workshops to help you prepare for the end of irrigation season. Our specialists will be available to explain the confusing topics. They ll also help you to plan for the end of season and make the most of your water allocation. The workshops will be on the following dates: Date Time Location Bright 23 April am - 3pm Alpine Shire Council Offices Cnr Churchill Avenue and Hawthorn Lane, Bright Kerang 29 April am - 4pm GMW Customer Service Centre 78 Kerang-Koondrook Road, Kerang 3579 Wangaratta 29 April am - 4pm GMW Customer Service Centre 5 Murrell Street, Wangaratta 3677 Boort 30 April am - 12pm Boort Resource & Information Centre, Godfrey Street, Boort Pyramid Hill 30 April am - 4pm GMW Customer Service Centre 24 Barber Street, Pyramid Hill 3575 Shepparton 30 April am - 4pm GMW Customer Service Centre 21 Wheeler Street, Shepparton 3630 Kyabram 1 May am - 4pm GMW Customer Service Centre 79 McCormick Road, Kyabram 3620 Rochester 1 May am - 4pm GMW Customer Service Centre 41 High Street, Rochester 3561 Cobram 2 May am - 4pm GMW Customer Service Centre 2-4 Dillon Street, Cobram 3644 Tallangatta 7 May am - 3pm Towong Shire Council 32 Towong Street Tallangatta 3700 Tatura 7 May am - 4pm GMW Customer Service Centre 40 Casey Street, Tatura 3616 Benalla 11 June am - 3pm Benalla Rural City Council 1 Bridge Street East, Benalla 3672 Swan Hill 29 April am - 4pm Temporary GMW Customer Service Centre Murlong Street, Swan Hill 3585 Cohuna 29 April am - 4pm GMW Office 11 Tisdall Road, Cohuna 3568 End of Season Newsletter 2013/2014 7

8 e-news You can stay up to date by subscribing to our electronic newsletter, e-news. We our newsletters each month. If you would like to receive e-news please subscribe at: e-services Extra web, mobile and services are also available. Sign up for these helpful e-services today. SMS Allocations: Allocation announcements sent direct to your mobile phone. SMS Start/Stop: Reminders of when your water order is to start and stop. Irrigation e-news: Allocation and irrigation updates ed to you once a month. e-dam levels: Water storage levels ed to you daily, weekly or monthly. Online Payments: To pay your GMW account please visit our website at WaterLINE: Online at to order water, adjust flow rates and duration all with 24 hour convenience. General Enquiries hr Emergencies

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