Goulburn and Murrumbidgee Rivers Water Price History

By | 06/11/2015

Similar to the River Murray Water Price History article, I’ve calculated figures for the two economically significant tributaries, the Goulburn River and Murrumbidgee River. For whatever reason, in South Australia the word “River” comes before the name of the river and in Victoria and New South Wales it comes after. As these are Victorian and New South Wales rivers, I’ll use the names from those states. The methodology is the same as the River Murray article and trades are only counted in the valley they are transferred to. This avoids double counting trades. Transfers for $0, along with outliers, aren’t counted, so the figures are those for water traded on the market.

Goulburn River

These charts are for 1A Greater Goulburn. Victoria’s data goes back to 1 July 2007, so here are the charts from that date to 30 October 2015.

Goulburn River VWAP

Goulburn River Volume


Murrumbidgee River

These charts are for 13 Murrumbidgee. The volume traded in the whole Murrumbidgee Valley is understated because data for water traded internally within Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd and Coleambally Irrigation is not available. NSW’s data goes back to 1 July 2004, so here are the charts from that date to 30 October 2015.

Murrumbidgee River VWAP

Murrumbidgee River Volume

Price and volume patterns are close but not quite the same as those for the River Murray. There are physical constraints on the delivery of water, so it’s not uncommon for trade to be restricted. When it is restricted, it is only in one direction. For example, right now, water can be traded into the Murrumbidgee from the Murray, but not out of the Murrumbidgee.

The maximum volume in a water year that the Goulburn can deliver to the Murray is 200 GL. For the Murrumbidgee it is 100 GL. You can find out the status of restrictions or how close we are to the limits for the Victorian valleys here and Murrumbidgee here.

When we have restrictions, prices can diverge in the valleys. Prices will be higher in the valley which can’t be traded into, otherwise sellers in that valley would be selling to outside the valley and the trade restrictions would be removed. That’s the case right now with Murrumbidgee water being less expensive than Murray. It’s unlikely this restriction will be removed this water year because we reached the restriction from environmental flows.

There are price differences between the valleys, but the system is usually connected between the three valleys and general price and volume movements are the same.

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