Water

Choke trading now automatic

By Country News

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority and Victorian Government have developed an online tool which allows allocation trades subject to the Barmah Choke trade restriction to be automatically processed.

Trades subject to the Barmah Choke restriction submitted online through the Victorian Water Register will now be processed instantaneously.

Barmah Choke trades in Victoria had been referred for manual processing since October 28, 2014, when the trading rule that restricts allocation trade from upstream of the choke to downstream was reinstated by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

MDBA acting head of compliance Brent Williams said the new system eliminated inconsistencies between states, as both NSW and Victoria will now process trades on receipt.

‘‘This new online tool means that Victorian water users have the same opportunity as NSW water users to request trades across the Barmah Choke as long as there are no other restrictions on trade,’’ Mr Williams said.

‘‘This facility also allows real time updating of Barmah Choke trade opportunity when water is traded from downstream to upstream of the choke in Victoria.

‘‘These improvements mean that people looking to trade water across the choke will have more accurate information to support their decision.’’

DELWP water and catchments deputy secretary Helen Vaughan said this was a great demonstration of a solutions-based approach by the basin states.

‘‘The (Murray-Darling) basin plan’s water trading rules are founded on the need for transparency and fair access to information, and this change further supports these values,’’ Ms Vaughan said.

To protect the delivery of water downstream, trade from above the Barmah Choke to below is restricted.

People upstream of the choke can only sell water to buyers downstream if the same or greater volume of water has been transferred from downstream to upstream first.