Public consultation on water recovery accounting factors

The Department of Industry – Water is seeking feedback on amended cap factors.

About amended cap factors

What are cap factors?

Cap factors, also known as long-term diversion limit equivalence factors (LTDLE factors), are an accounting tool to keep track of how much water has been recovered for the environment under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Cap factors should not be confused with the ‘Murray-Darling Basin Cap’ which refers to a long term average annual water extraction target, which will be replaced under the Basin Plan by sustainable diversion limits (SDLs).

What are they used for?

Under the Basin Plan 2012, 20 water resource plans are required to be developed in NSW. These plans will reflect the NSW arrangements in water sharing plans for sharing water for consumptive use, and must show how water will be managed within the plan area to meet the SDLs. To meet the limits, water must be recovered for the environment.

There is an extensive program of water modelling and accounting to keep track of how much water is available for consumptive use and for the environment. This program is underpinned by a group of assumptions about how water is used and accounted for. The cap factors make up some of these assumptions.

The factors have no impact on entitlements or water allocations, but provide a consistent accounting system to be sure water recovery has occurred as planned. They indicate how much water has historically been allocated across different entitlement classes and across areas, so that there is consistent measurement and comparison of water entitlements no matter their source.

How were they developed?

The factors were developed in conjunction with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and were based on historic use patterns, climatic data, and trade information. The amended factors are an update on factors released in 2011, and have been further developed taking into account the most accurate and up-to-date information, and ensure a consistent approach across the Basin.

Following stakeholder consultation, the final factors will be accredited as part of the water resource plans’ accreditation.

Have your say

Stakeholders are invited to make a submission that includes any new evidence or information that could be considered in the final assessments of factors.

To find out more, you can download the following papers which detail how the factors were developed:

Closing date

The consultation period will run from 1 June 2018 to 17 July 2018.

Submissions closed at 5pm, 17 July 2018.