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'buybacks' and their use to secure environmental flows - National ...

'buybacks' and their use to secure environmental flows - National ...

For example, Figures 18

For example, Figures 18 and 19 for NSW and Vic allocations respectively, identify the percentage of time when environmental water would be needed and a trigger met, at different allocation trigger levels. So for example, to meet around 80% of environmental demands, the allocation trigger in NSW would need to be set at around 10% of allocations and in Victoria at around 75%. This means that the triggers would be activated in most years although the water is only required in 1 year in 4. Figure 18: Options – irrigation allocation trigger (NSW) 100% Percentage of time when envir water needed & trigger met 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Irrigation allocation trigger level (%) Because of the uncertainty imposed on an irrigator being party to an options contract which would be triggered almost every year, the environmental manager would need to pay a significant amount as the ‘premium’ despite the purchased right having no value in most years. In the case of a leaseback arrangement, in most years the environmental manager would take ownership of allocations despite there being no environmental demand to be met. To overcome this problem, a more suitable trigger could be sought or more complex holdings of options or leaseback contracts established. We have investigated the former of these, looking at the workability of alternative triggers based on rainfall or storage levels. Figure 19: Options – irrigation allocation trigger (VIC) 100% Percentage of time when envir water needed & trigger met 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 Irrigation allocation trigger level (%) Natural resource ‘buybacks’ and their use to secure environmental flows BDA Group 48

A composite storage index trigger was developed, based on the storage levels in Hume and Dartmouth in July (Figure 20). Figure 20: Options – Storage trigger (NSW and VIC) 100% Percentage of time when envir water needed & trigger met 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 Storage Trigger level This trigger performs in a similar way to an allocation trigger, with reasonably low levels of the storage trigger required in order to meet a large proportion of the environmental demand. Similarly, if a leaseback contract was written, the percentage of time that the trigger would be activated but the water not required varies from 75% at low storage trigger levels to 100% if trigger levels were at an index value of 0.95.A rainfall trigger was also considered using cumulative June and July rainfall in the buyback regions. To meet environmental demand 80% of the time using a NSW rainfall trigger would require the trigger to be set at 50mm (average rainfall over the period is 77mm). Similarly, the levels would need to be set at 60mm in the Victorian buyback region (average rainfall is 85mm over the period). Figure 21: Options – Rainfall trigger (NSW) 100% Percentage of time when envir water needed & trigger met 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Rainfall trigger level (mm) Natural resource ‘buybacks’ and their use to secure environmental flows BDA Group 49

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