Monthly Water Report
Monthly Water Report
The Monthly Water Report provides a summary of the status of Victoria's water resources and water supplies at the end of the reporting month. It is based on validated water resource information provided by Victoria's 19 Urban and Rural Water Corporations and the Bureau of Meteorology. Each month's report is published online the following month. For detailed, specific and up-to-date information, please contact the relevant Water Corporation or the Bureau of Meteorology. Links to these organisations are located within the Monthly Water Report.
For a weekly snapshot you can now download the Department's Weekly Water Report on the Water Register website.
In July, rainfall was above to very much above average across most of Victoria, except the north west. Some sites across the south and east received record high rainfall totals for July, with many more recording their highest daily rainfall since at least 1999. The state's highest daily rainfall total of 120.2 mm was recorded at Reeves Knob. Major flooding occurred in Gippsland on the Snowy, Buchan, Mitchell and Avon Rivers. Statewide, the rainfall total was 41% above the July average.
Moderate to high streamflows were recorded across the majority of the state during July. Fourteen sites recorded flows over 100% of the long term average. Tallangatta Creek at McCallums, Snowy Creek at Granite Flat, Rose River at Matong and Glenelg River at Sandford all recorded flows above 250% of the long term average..
The North West and a small section along the central coast of the state continues to remain dry.
The total volume of water held in Victoria's major storages increased by 12.7% during July, ending the month at 54.1% capacity. There was no recorded decrease in storage across the 16 monitored basins, with increases in all. The increases ranged from 3.9% in the Melbourne system to 53.6% in the Broken system. Catchments for Melbourne experienced the third largest monthly storage increase for the month of July since 1998.
Victoria's regional storages increased by 14.2% to 52.6% of capacity during July 2016. Melbourne's storage levels increased by 3.9% to 63.3% of capacity over the same period. Melbourne's storages are 6.2% lower and the regional storages are 2.5% lower than at the same time last year.
Urban water restrictions
There were no towns on water restrictions at the end of July. All Victorian towns are subject to Permanent Water Saving Rules.
The groundwater section of the Monthly Water Report is updated on a quarterly basis. For the last update go to the June 2016 report.
The opening allocations for the northern systems, managed by Goulburn-Murray Water and Coliban Water, were announced on 1 July 2016. Opening allocations for Southern Rural Water systems were announced on 4 July 2016.
Low-reliability water share (LRWS) allocations have not yet been announced.
Restrictions on diversions from unregulated streams
At the end of July 2016, there were 52 unregulated streams and lakes subject to diversion restrictions, compared to 98 at the end of June. This time last year, there were 78 waterways subject to restrictions.
Seasonal climate outlook
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) released its August to October 2016 rainfall outlook on 28 July 2016. The outlook continues to predict that most of the state will have an increased chance of exceeding median rainfall.. It suggests northern Victoria and Gippsland are the most likely to have above median rainfall, with a 65-75% chance. The southern Wimmera, South-West coastal areas and Central region are predicted to have a roughly 60-65% chance of exceeding median rainfall. Significant rainfall in July has been welcomed across Victoria, particularly in areas suffering from mid to long-term rainfall deficiencies. Recovery in these areas is still likely to require a significant period of above average rainfall.
BoM released its latest ENSO Wrap-Up on 2 August 2016. It announced that the tropical Pacific Ocean remains in a neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) state and well shy of La Niña thresholds. A strong negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event continues, with ocean temperature in the eastern Indian Ocean well above average and below average near Africa. International climate models are predicting that the negative IOD will persist until the end of spring, which will likely bring increased rainfall to southern Australia.
All climate models indicate further cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean is likely, though only two of the eight models predicted that La Niña thresholds would be exceeded for an extended period. The Bureau's ENSO Outlook remains at La Niña WATCH, which means there is a 50% likelihood of La Niña developing during the second half of 2016. If La Niña does develop, climate models suggest it will most likely be weak.