IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

More water for everything? The problem of bogus water savings in northern Victoria, Australia


  • Gyles, Oliver


The Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) spent the latter decades of the 20th century fully integrating the surface and sub-surface drainage systems with the water distribution network in northern Victoria, thereby enabling complete recycling of outfalls, leaks and seepage from its channels. Yet in 2007, in repudiation of this recycling capacity, DSE announced a multibillion dollar modernisation project it claims will “create” 450 GL of “new water” by reducing “inefficiencies” in the channel distribution system. Examination of the northern Victorian irrigation supply system shows it was fully integrated with more than adequate recycling capacity before the project began. In a classic case of double counting, DSE was already delivering the illusory “new water” to regional irrigators and billing them for it. Thus the project cannot deliver real water savings and the Government must effectively reduce irrigation entitlement to increase entitlements for urban consumption and environmental flows. The financial and economic impact of bogus water savings on stakeholders is discussed in terms of the opportunity cost of appropriated irrigation entitlement and of the effect of overcapitalisation of the distribution system on annual capital charges and thus the viability of irrigation and the operating water authority.

Suggested Citation

  • Gyles, Oliver, 2011. "More water for everything? The problem of bogus water savings in northern Victoria, Australia," 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia 101226, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare11:101226

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Enghin Atalay & Ali Horta?su & Chad Syverson, 2014. "Vertical Integration and Input Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1120-1148, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    double counting; opportunity cost; real water savings; recycling; Political Economy; Public Economics; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aare11:101226. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.