2018-19 Year at a glance

In 2018-19 most governments progressed substantial policy, regulatory and legislative changes that will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of water markets. Low rainfall and allocations, generally lower volumes of water traded, record and near record prices characterised the year for much of Australia. The 2018-19 Australian Water Markets Annual report provides a quantitative and qualitative look at key water markets in Australia, events that shaped the 2018-19 year, future outlook and further market improvements.

Below are some of the events that influenced key water market activities, for detailed information and other events that shaped the markets, read the full report Download here

Volumes traded in 2018-19

In 2018-19, approximately 5,470 gigalitres (GL) of water was traded on the temporary market across Australia (a reduction of 27 percent from 2017-18), with the majority traded in New South Wales (45 percent), Victoria (43 percent) and South Australia (6 percent).  Approximately 1,642 GL of water was traded on the permanent market (an increase of 3 percent from 2017-18), with the majority traded in New South Wales (47 percent), Victoria (19 percent) and South Australia (17 percent).


National weather conditions

Rainfall for the year was generally below average for Australia as a whole.  Below to very much below average rainfall was recorded across most of New South Wales and southern Queensland, as well as adjacent border regions of South Australia and Victoria. Rainfall was also below average for southern Tasmania, the western half of South Australia, much of eastern and northern Western Australia, and large parts of the Northern Territory. Rainfall for the Basin as a whole was the tenth lowest on record.

Water storage and allocations 

Water storage levels within the Murray-Darling Basin closed at 35 percent, compared to 54 percent at the same time the previous year.  There has been a decline for the Murrumbidgee and Murray Goulburn storages, based on 30 June levels over the past three years. Poor inflows and above average temperatures contributed to these lower storage levels. In the winter of 2015-16, it was the last time active (or useable) storage levels in the Basin were this low.

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