Goulburn Inter-Valley Trade Explained

Inter-valley Trade
The Goulburn system is comprised of The Greater Goulburn (Area 1a), Boort (Area 1b), lower Goulburn (Area 3) and Lower Broken Creek (Area 6b), but it is also connected to the Loddon system, Campaspe system, Broken system and the Victorian Murray system.

This Inter Valley Trade limit was introduced so that there was enough water stored in dams to supply the Victorian Murray and so that the storage levels were not adversely effected by the increasingly large trades between Victorian valley’s and the Murray.

The trade balances for the Goulburn IVT can be found on the Victorian Water Register and the calculations and trade limits uses real time data. A more visual representation of the Trade limits can be found here.

Trade is not allowed from the Goulburn, Campaspe, Broken and Loddon to the Victoria, New South Wale or South Australian Murray if more than 200 gigalitres (GL) of water is owed to the Murray. Factors that contribute to the limit being reached include:

  • Water still owed to the Murray from the previous year.
  • Seasonal allocations leading to an increase of water owed to the Murray to supply water rights traded there in the past.
  • The volume traded out this season.

i.e. The IVT limit for the Goulburn system is 200 GL and all trade in the system is halted when the balance of the account is greater than 200 GL. The entire Goulburn IVT system balance is carried over (rolled over / kept) to the new year.

The Goulburn IVT had its first major opening of the season on 17 February 2021, where 10,000 ML was made available due to the movement of water by the Victorian water authorities. This 10,000 ML limit was reached immediately, proving the demand to transfer the water out of the Goulburn Valley and into the River Murray.

On Wednesday 24 February 2021 the Goulburn IVT opened and 5,000 ML was released due to the transfer of water. Once again this limit was reached quickly and the IVT had closed for trade. Since then, the Goulburn IVT  has continuously opened and closed due to small parcels of water being moved between the valleys. These will continue to be observed and monitored.

On Wednesday 3 March 2021, the Victorian water authorities released 8,000ML into the Murray.

On both 10 March 2021 and 17 March 2021, the Victorian Water authorities released approximately 10,000ML into the River Murray System.

On 24 March 2021 the Victorian Water Authorities released approximately 11,500ML into the River Murray System. Contrary to previous releases this season, the balance of the Goulburn IVT did not return to 0ML, with trades instead only decreasing the balance by approximately 1.5GL. Due to this lack of trading the Goulburn IVT has remained open for several continuous days for the fist time in the 2020/21 season.

The Victorian Government is currently exploring changes to the Goulburn Murray trade rule. New long-term trade and operating arrangements will be introduced at the start of the 2021-22 irrigation season, 1 July 2021. Learn more about possible changes to the Goulburn to Murray trade rule here.