The National Water Initiative— securing Australia’s water future 2011 assessment




НазваниеThe National Water Initiative— securing Australia’s water future 2011 assessment
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The National Water Initiative— securing Australia’s water future
2011 assessment


© Commonwealth of Australia 2011

This work is copyright.

Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and enquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney General’s Department, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted at www.ag.gov.au/cca.

ISBN 978-1-921853-27-2

The National Water Initiative—securing Australia’s water future: 2011 assessment, September 2011

Published by the National Water Commission
95 Northbourne Avenue
Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: 02 6102 6000

Email: enquiries@nwc.gov.au

Date of publication: September 2011

Design by Papercut

Printed by Paragon Printers

Front cover image courtesy of CSIRO

An appropriate citation for this publication is: National Water Commission 2011, The National Water Initiative—securing Australia’s water future: 2011 assessment, NWC, Canberra

Contents

Executive overview 1

Australian water reform 3

Impacts 4

Headline recommendations 7

Our approach 19

The National Water Initiative 21

The context for this assessment 21

Previous assessments of reform progress 22

Approach to this assessment 22

Information sources 23

1 Governance 25

Summary of impacts 27

1.1 Water access entitlements 28

1.2 Statutory water plans 30

1.3 Interception and mining 39

1.4 Indigenous water 44

1.5 Risk assignment 46

1.6 Water accounting and information 48

1.7 Metering water extraction and use 50

1.8 Compliance and enforcement 51

1.9 Science and skills 52

1.10 Accountability and nationally compatible approaches 55

Summary of findings 57

2 More productive and efficient water use 59

Summary of impacts 61

2.1 Efficient water markets and water trading 62

2.2 Pricing and institutional reform 77

Summary of findings 90

3 Sustainable water management 91

Summary of impacts 93

3.1 Understanding water resources 94

3.2 Identifying environmental objectives and water regimes 100

3.3 Returning systems to sustainable levels of extraction 101

3.4 Recovery of water for the environment 105

3.5 Increased security of environmental water 108

3.6 Environmental water management 110

Summary of findings 117

4 Communities 119

Summary of impacts 121

4.1 Rural communities 122

4.2 Metropolitan and regional urban communities 129

Summary of findings 142

Appendix A: NRMMC performance indicator report 2011 144

2011 update of performance 144

NWI Objective 1: Clear and nationally compatible characteristics for secure water access entitlements 145

NWI Objective 2: Transparent, statutory-based water planning 147

NWI Objective 3: Statutory provision for environmental and other public benefit outcomes, and improved environmental management practices 150

NWI Objective 4: Complete the return of all currently overallocated or overused systems to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction 166

NWI Objective 5: Progressive removal of barriers to trade in water and meeting other requirements to facilitate the broadening and deepening of the water market, with an open trading market to be in place 170

NWI Objective 6: Clarity around the assignment of risk arising from future changes in the availability of water for the consumptive pool 180

NWI Objective 7: Water accounting which is manageable to meet the information needs of different water systems in respect to planning, monitoring, trading, environmental management and on-farm management 185

NWI Objective 8: Policy settings which facilitate water use efficiency and innovation in urban and rural areas 185

NWI Objective 9: Addressing future adjustment issues that may impact on water users and communities 195

NWI Objective 10: Recognition of the connectivity between surface and groundwater resources and connected systems managed as a single resource 196

Appendix B: Summary of progress on NWI actions 200

Australian Government 200

Australian Capital Territory 210

New South Wales 218

Northern Territory 239

Queensland 247

South Australia 263

Tasmania 278

Victoria 289

Western Australia 306

Appendix B references 320

Appendix C: Consultations for this review 324

Appendix D: RSMG model description 329

Appendix E: Murray–Darling Basin trade, market and charge rules 336

References 338

Abbreviations and acronyms 345

Glossary of terms 347

Index 350

Tables

Table 1.1: Purpose, scope, extent and regulatory effect of water plans, by jurisdiction 31

Table 1.2: Extent of water planning 34

Table 1.3: Water plans reviewed for this assessment 36

Table 2.1: Percentage of Murray–Darling Basin irrigation farms trading water, by agricultural sector, 2006–07 to 2008–09 70

Table 2.2: Pricing functions and coverage of independent economic regulators 78

Table 3.1: Jurisdictional responses on performance indicators for overallocation and overuse 102

Table 3.2: Numbers of overallocated, overused and fully allocated systems identified in water plans, 2009 and 2011 103

Table 3.3: State priority projects funded under the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program 105

Table 3.4: Water recovered under the Restoring the Balance buyback program (to 31 May 2011) 106

Table 3.5: Water recovery measures listed on The Living Murray Environmental Water Register 107

Table 3.6: Methods for defining and providing environmental water 109

Table 3.7: Environmental water managers for each jurisdiction 111

Table 3.8: Examples of monitoring and reporting on plan performance 114

Table 4.1: Agricultural value, water use and trading, 2000–01 and 2005–06 126

Table 4.2: Large desalination plants 129

Table 4.3: Total recycled water supplied (ML) 130

Table 4.4: Future price paths for urban water businesses 133

Table 4.5: Average annual residential water supplied, major capital city utilities, 2005–06 to 2009–10 (kL/property) for utilities with 100 000+ connected properties 135

Table 4.6: Percentage of population for which microbiological compliance was achieved, utilities with 100 000+ connected properties, 2005–06 to 2009–10 137

Table A.1: Government decisions that revoke or change the security of statutory water access entitlements and the reasons for these decisions, 2005 and 2011 146

Table A.2: Ground and surface water resources covered by water plans, 2004–05 and 2011 148

Table A.3: Water plans reviewed for performance indicator 3.2 152

Table A.4: Extent to which actions have been implemented to achieve environmental and other public benefit outcomes defined in water plans 153

Table A.5: Water resource condition assessment programs, by jurisdiction 160

Table A.6: Evidence of environmental management plan or system, 2006–07 to 2009–10 165

Table A.7: Identified overallocated and/or overused or fully allocated systems or subsystems, 2009 and 2011 167

Table A.8: Overallocated and/or overused systems or subsystems reported by jurisdictions, 2009 and 2011 168

Table A.9: Water trade approval times, MDB jurisdictions, 2008–09 and 2009–10 173

Table A.10: Water trade approval times, non-MDB jurisdictions, 2009–10 174

Table A.11: Number and proportion of applications rejected by state and territory approval authorities, 2004–05 and 2009–10 175

Table A.12: Administrative cost of water trade, 2009 and 2011 177

Table A.13: Application of risk assignment provisions, 2005, 2009 and 2011 181

Table A.14: Water application rates for irrigated agriculture, average of all irrigated pastures or crops, 2004–05 and 2009–10 (ML/ha) 188

Table A.15: Recognition of surface water – groundwater connectivity, 2009 and 2011 197

Table C.1: Meetings with state and territory agencies 324

Table C.7: Submissions received 325

Table C.4: Stakeholder forum 327

Table C.8: Consultancies commissioned 328

Table D.1: Summary—Baseline scenario representing pre NWI basin land and water use, sequential solution 330

Table D.2: Baseline irrigated area, by catchment and state (’000 ha) 331

Table D.3: Baseline water use, by catchment (GL) 332

Table D.4: Baseline gross value of irrigated production, by catchment ($m) 332

Table D.5: Baseline net value of irrigated production, by catchment and state ($m) 333

Table D.6: Summary—Baseline scenario representing pre NWI basin land and water use, global solution 334

Table D.7: Difference in key model attributes between the sequential and global runs—potential gains with fully unimpeded water trade 335

Figures

Figure 2.1: Volume of allocation trade, southern Murray–Darling Basin, 1983–84 to 2009–10 (ML) 63

Figure 2.2: Water allocation levels and proportion traded, southern Murray–Darling Basin, 1998–99 to 2009–10 63

Figure 2.3: Entitlement trade volumes in the southern Murray–Darling Basin, 1983–84 to 2009–10 (ML) 64

Figure 2.4: Entitlement trade volumes in the northern Murray–Darling Basin, 2007–08 to 2009–10 (ML) 64

Figure 2.5: Total entitlement trade in the southern Murray–Darling Basin, 2007–08 to 2009–10, by reliability class 65

Figure 2.6: Allocation trade outside the Murray–Darling Basin, 2007–08 to 2009–10 (GL) 66

Figure 2.7: Entitlement trade outside the Murray–Darling Basin, 2007–08 to 2009–10 (GL) 66

Figure 2.8: Inflation-adjusted gross value of irrigated agricultural production per megalitre of water in the Murray–Darling Basin for various commodities ($) 67

Figure 2.9: Index of water consumption in the Murray–Darling Basin, by agricultural commodity, 2000–01 to 2008–09 68

Figure 2.10: Proportion of water trading farms that bought or sold water, by industry, 2006–07 to 2008–09 70

Figure 2.11: Rice production, rice prices and water allocation prices, Murrumbidgee, 2005–06 to 2009–10 71

Figure 2.12: Residential water consumption, 2004–05 to 2009–10 (kL/property) 81

Figure 2.13: Return on assets, major utilities, 2000–01 to 2002–03 (%) 83

Figure 2.14: Economic real rates of return, major utilities, 2005–06 to 2009–2010 (%) 83

Figure 2.15: Economic real rates of return, regional urban water businesses with fewer than 50 000 connections, 2005–06 to 2009–2010 (%) 84

Figure 4.1: Recycled water use, 2009–10, percentage by category 130

Figure 4.2: Typical residential bills, by utility size group, 2007–08 to 2009–10 ($) 132

Figure A.1: Volume of water used for consumptive purposes, 2004–05 and 2008–09 (GL/year) 150

Figure A.2: Total net greenhouse gas emissions, urban water utilities, 2005–06 to 2009–10 (net tonnes CO2-equivalent per 1000 properties) 163

Figure A.3: Sewer overflows reported to the environmental regulator, utilities with 100 000+ connected properties, 2008–09 and 2009–10 (per 100 km of main) 163

Figure A.4: Total net greenhouse gas emissions, rural water service providers, 2006–07 to 2009–10 (net tonnes CO2 equivalent) 164

Figure A.5: Entitlement trade intensity, by number, 2004–05 to 2009–10 (percentage of total entitlements on issue) 171

Figure A.6: Entitlement trade intensity, by volume, 2004–05 to 2009–10 (percentage of total volume of entitlement on issue) 171

Figure A.7: Allocation trade intensity, by number, 2008–09 and 2009–10 172

Figure A.8: Allocation trade intensity, by volume, 2007–08 to 2009–10 (GL) 172

Figure A.9: Minimum and maximum cost of entitlement trade, 2011 ($) 179

Figure A.10: Minimum and maximum cost of allocation trade, 2011 ($) 179

Figure A.11: Minimum and maximum cost to lease an entitlement, 2011 ($) 180

Figure A.12: Irrigated area for each irrigation method, 2004–05 and 2008–09 (percentage of total irrigated area) 186

Figure A.13: Gross value of irrigated agricultural production, 2004–05 and 2008–09 ($/ML) 187

Figure A.14: Household water consumption per capita, 2004–05 and 2008–09 (L/day) 189

Figure A.15: Water supplied to users, by source, 2004–05 and 2008–09 (%) 190

Figure A.16: Water losses in distribution systems, 2004–05 and 2008–09 (%) 191

Figure A.17: Net profit after tax, urban water utilities, 2008–09 and 2009–10 (%) 192

Figure A.18: Economic real rate of return, major utilities, 2005–06 to 2009–10 (%) 193

Figure A.19: Economic real rate of return, rural water businesses, 2006–07 to 2009–10 (%) 193

Figure A.20: Combined operating cost—water and sewerage, for utilities with 100 000+ connected properties, 2005–06 to 2009–10 ($/property) 194

Figure A.21: Operating expenditure for rural water service providers, 2006–07 to 2009–10 ($/megalitre supplied) 195

Boxes

The National Water Initiative 3

Box 1.1: Status of unbundling of water rights in Australia 29

Box 1.2: Draft NWI Policy Guidelines for Water Planning and Management 30

Box 1.3: Suspension of water sharing plans in New South Wales 37

Box 1.4: Commonwealth water governance reforms—the Water Act 2007 38

Box 1.5: Initial estimates of interception activities 40

Box 1.6: Addressing historical mining arrangements in Queensland 42

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