The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has released the Basin Plan draft Sustainable Diversion Limit adjustment determination report for public comment.
The proposed SDL adjustment means Basin Plan environmental outcomes can be achieved with a 605 gigalitre reduction in water recovery in the southern Basin.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, has welcomed the draft determination saying it clearly shows the Plan is delivering for Basin communities and the environment.
“The determination measures the effectiveness of environmental projects by the basin states, showing they will deliver the Basin Plan’s environmental outcomes with less water.”
“The MDBA’s assessment of projects has determined that 605 gigalitres of water recovery can now be ‘offset’ by the projects while achieving Basin Plan environmental outcomes. What this outcome means for Basin communities and irrigators is more certainty and more water remaining in production. This is great for the environment, and a positive for the economies of basin communities.”
MR Joyce says an offset outcome of 605 gigalitres, combined with the delivery of remaining contracted water recovery projects, will be enough to fully offset the remaining water recovery ‘gap’ in the southern Basin.
“This is excellent news for farmers and for the health of the Basin. All Basin jurisdictions through the Basin Officials Committee have expressed support for the draft outcome, providing evidence that the Basin Plan is well on-track.”
Minister Joyce says proposing the SDL adjustment is just the start of the process and Basin governments are committed to ongoing consultation with Basin communities.
The MDBA is inviting the public to comment on the draft determination report and submissions can be made through the MDBA website from 3 October to 3 November 2017.