Water managment

Murray-Darling Basin Plan water savings target effectively reduced

19 June 2017

NATALIE KOTSIOS, The Weekly Times
June 16, 2017 12:51pm
A PACKAGE of environmental works and measures could see the amount of water to be recovered under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan effectively reduced by more than 600 gigalitres.

Basin state and federal water ministers today endorsed the final package of projects, a decision that will likely be welcomed by irrigators and farming communities.

Under the basin plan, up to 650GL can be sought through environmental works and changes to river operational rules that deliver the same benefits for the environment, without direct water recovery.

That effectively reduces the 2750GL water recovery target to 2100GL. To date, 2050.6GL has been recovered through water buybacks and infrastructure works.

The Murray Darling Basin Authority’s preliminary advice indicates the endorsed package “is likely to achieve an SDL offset in excess of 600GL”.

“Basin governments have identified ways to achieve environmental outcomes and to reduce the impacts of floods through pre releases and different flow regimes that better mimic natural conditions without impacting long and short term reliability,” a statement from the MDBA said.

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