The release of the Victorian Water Accounts 2018–19 marks the sixteenth in the series of annual reports about the availability and use of water in Victoria.
2018–19 also marks the first online presentation of the Victorian Water Accounts via an interactive digital platform. As a first stage we are presenting the surface water and distribution system accounts here on our Online Water Accounts site. In time, it will be expanded to include groundwater and entitlement reporting.
In 2018–19, conditions were again drier than in the previous year, with below-average rainfall across most of Victoria. Northern parts of the state experienced particularly dry conditions and large parts of East Gippsland continued to suffer from a severe multi-year drought, which affected large parts of eastern Australia.
The decreased rainfall and hot conditions meant that there was less surface water available in 2018–19, compared to previous years. Consequently, there was an increase in the number of Victorian towns on water restrictions and an increase in restrictions on the volume that licensed landholders were allowed to divert from streams. The accounts show the total volume of surface water, groundwater and recycled water available in 2018–19 was 12,073 GL, compared to 15,375 GL in the previous year.
Victoria is in a strong position to face water availability challenges, but we cannot be complacent. The Victorian Government, together with our partners, is leading the way in managing our water resources sustainably through Water for Victoria, our plan for responding to the pressures of climate change and population growth and for doing more with less water.