By May 1 each year, the Controller of Water Resources announces the allocations applicable to Top End licences for the forthcoming water year. This announcement (the annual announced allocations or AAAs) are part of the Northern Territory’s approach towards sustainable water resource management. It is one of the regulatory mechanisms to ensure that water use activities do not cause environmental harm to our water ecosystems. The announcement is made in terms of the proportion of the licensed allocation that may be used, based upon an assessment of the affected water resources.
For example, outside of a water allocation plan area, where the NT Water Allocation Planning Framework is in operation, wet season rainfall is used to predict the aquifer and receiving rivers response for the dry season ahead.
Should this assessment reveal that the river flows are likely to be impacted by more than 20%, then all existing licence holders may be subject to a proportional cut in their allocated volume, in order to ensure that the environmental limit of 20% is met.
Should the assessment reveal that river flows are unlikely to be impacted by more than 20%, then full entitlements will apply.
Inside of a water allocation plan area, the plan determines the process to be followed for annual announced allocations.
Last updated: 15 May 2020
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