NEW carryover rules will be introduced to better protect the reliability of seasonal water allocations.Victorian water minister Peter Walsh said the changes would take effect from July 1 next year and were being made following work by the Carryover Review Committee.
"The Carryover Review Committee was set up by the Government earlier this year to assess the carryover framework on the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe water systems," Mr Walsh said.
"The Committee brought together representatives of irrigators, environmental water holders, and rural and urban water corporations from across northern Victoria.
"The Committee made a series of recommendations for changes in its report and I have accepted all but one of the recommendations."
Among the recommendations accepted was a change to the Murray spill rule.
The rule is currently restricted to Dartmouth Dam spills but will be changed to be based on Hume Dam spills.
"Carryover should be the first water to spill to avoid impacts on new seasonal allocations, but the current Dartmouth rule introduced in 2010 has had significant impacts on seasonal allocations," Mr Walsh said.
"Modelling undertaken by the Department of Sustainability and Environment, at the request of the Carryover Review Committee, suggests that, if the new Hume-based spill rule had been in place, low-reliability allocations would have been possible on the Murray last season."
Other changes include the introduction of provisions to allow water holders to easily relinquish unused allocations if they don't want to carry it over with the water then used for seasonal allocation in the following year.