The long-term strategy to guide watering activities across the Murray–Darling Basin is being released today.
The Basin-wide Watering Strategy is one of the key pieces of work to be completed as part of the implementation of the Basin Plan. The Australian Government has committed to implementing the Basin Plan in full and on time.
“It is important that all water is used as efficiently and effectively as possible. We want to see the maximum environmental value from each drop of water delivered to throughout the Murray-Darling Basin,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.
“Water is an incredibly precious resource and it is essential that we use it wisely in the Murray–Darling Basin, which is one of the most variable river systems in the world, and where the amount of water in the rivers can change significantly from year to year.
“Better coordinating watering activities across the basin, by working towards a common set of environmental outcomes, and using these to guide watering activities at a local, state and basin scale will be fundamental to getting the best environmental returns for the basin.
“This strategy clearly identifies how we can best achieve this so our basin is strong and healthy, is well placed to survive extended dry periods, and can better support basin communities and industries,” he said.
A total of 41 submissions were received during public comment on the draft strategy.
“I thank everyone who took the time to provide their views, as a result, the strategy now contains more detail to explain the thinking behind the long term outcomes and how they will be evaluated,” Senator Birmingham said.
“There is also additional detail about how annual priorities will be set, particularly in very dry periods, which will provide guidance to environmental water holders.”
The Murray–Darling Basin Authority developed the strategy in consultation with ecologists, river operators, hydrological modellers and governments, including water holders and managers.
The final strategy can be found on the MDBA website at http://www.mdba.gov.au/what-we-do/environmental-water/basin-watering-strategy.