We are constantly told that we live on the driest inhabited continent on earth. We know - while many argue over climate change and what to do about it - that some parts of Australia are a bit light on for water. But what really happens when the going gets tough? Here's a taste. It is called Qualification of Right. It describes what your basic right or entitlement is. It serves notice on what is available to you as a consumer. Please do not confuse this with a Universal Right to Water such as the proposed Article 31. Hat tip to Networker Ellen for drawing my attention to it.
Accessing Water for Essential Needs Qualification of RightsWednesday 1 July, 2009
With limited water availability and low inflows continuing at the start of the 2009/10 season, access to water for limited essential services will be again extended to customers in northern Victoria water systems with the renewal of qualification of rights.
Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW) Executive Manager Water Resources Graeme Hannan said qualification of rights was implemented when water resources were insufficient.
"Qualification of rights simply means the Minister for Water has temporarily granted access to water for customers in the Murray, Broken, Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon and Bullarook systems for essential services such as watering of stock and fire fighting purposes and in an industrial sense water for washdown, cleaning and cooling," Mr Hannan said.
The qualification of right do not allow for irrigation or frost protection. Irrigators must have allocation for these purposes.
"If you use your allocation for irrigation or sell your allocation you must plan to retain adequate supplies to meet essential domestic and stock needs for the remainder of the season," Mr Hannan said.
"You are expected to use water in your Allocation Bank Account (ABA) for essential purposes first. If resources are insufficient, the qualification of rights allows you to access water for specific purposes in accordance with the Minister for Water's qualification of rights," Mr Hannan said.
Qualification of rights will remain in place until high-reliability water share allocations reach 20% on the Murray and Goulburn and 50% on the Broken, Campaspe, Bullarook and Loddon systems.
The Minister for Water has increased the threshold for the Broken system from 20% to 50% of high-reliability water shares for the 2009/10 season.
For more information on the qualification of rights, visit the G-MW website at
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