2008 – Management of a dwindling resource

Andrew Shields, Dr Mark Bailey, Graeme Hannan

Abstract: In recent years, water resources have declined markedly under the effects of long-term drought and climate change. Resource planning has turned from a process of routine allocation to the specialised management of a limited and highly valued commodity. Probabilistic outlooks of water availability based on historical inflows have proven an important component of the drought communication strategies used by Goulburn-Murray Water. In turn, Goulburn-Murray Water has examined alternative means of securing additional water for its customers, including revised operating criteria and pumping from the dead storage of its dams.

With the focus on meeting essential domestic water needs and boosting irrigation supplies, Goulburn-Murray Water has used the opportunity afforded by water levels to review the capacity of its storages. The regular, but unwelcome, outcome of reduced storage capacities from these studies, and the predictions of continuing drought, present Goulburn-Murray Water and its customers with an ongoing challenge.

Keywords: water resources, allocation outlook, capacity table, dead storage, resource position

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