Irrigators are facing an improved outlook for water determinations for the 2020/21 water year after today's announcement updated seasonal determinations and risk of spill.
Northern Victorian Resource manager Mark Bailey said recent rain and an increase in water availability had improved the outlook for seasonal determinations against high-reliability water shares (HRWS) at the start of the 2020/21 water year.
"Flows into the major storages since the start of April provided a welcome increase in water availability," Dr Bailey said.
"Several storages received their highest April inflows in over 30 years.
"There is now enough resource available to meet operating needs in all systems and deliver seasonal determinations in the Murray, Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon systems on July 1, 2020."
Dr Bailey said a repeat of the flows into the major storages observed in 2019/20 would result in the Goulburn system reaching about 85 per cent HRWS in February 2021 and the Murray system reaching about 60 per cent.
"Early season announcements in the Broken and Bullarook systems will be influenced by the volumes carried over and the flows into the storages between now and the end of June.
"Carryover will be deliverable in all systems throughout 2020/21.
"The flows and improved storage levels have increased the risk of spill in 2020/21," Dr Bailey said.
Based on flow records and recent flow trends, the current risk of spill in the Goulburn system during 2020/21 was estimated to be about 20 per cent. The risk in the Murray system had increased to about 50 per cent. The risk in the Campaspe system was also about 50 per cent, he said.
Dr Bailey said the Bureau of Meteorology climate outlook for June to August favored wetter than average conditions across all of northern Victoria.
"Customers may wish to factor the rainfall outlook and the risk of spill information into their plans for 2020/21 and the remaining weeks of 2019/20."