The annual progress report on the constraints management strategy has been released today, pointing the way forward to the next phase of this important part of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan.
“Local information provided by basin communities form the backbone of the report’s findings,” said Senator Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.
“The good work done this year on the ‘prefeasibility phase’ of the constraints management strategy has given us the grounding for more detailed investigations at all seven key focus areas in 2015.
“The basin ministers have agreed that work should proceed as an integrated package for the three River Murray key focus areas – Hume to Yarrawonga, Yarrawonga to Wakool junction and SA River Murray.
“Ministers have also requested further studies be done on constraint measures in the Gwydir, Lower Darling, Murrumbidgee and the Goulburn.
“The work on constraints is giving us a sense of the kind of flows that could be delivered in the future to improve the health of our rivers and wetlands.
“At the same time this work is helping us understand what any changes could mean to people in these areas so that governments can ensure that third party impacts are avoided or mitigated.”
Senator Birmingham said river reach reports, summarising the information collected for each of the seven key focus areas, were also now available.
“The reach reports show the willingness of communities to share their knowledge of the way water behaves in their local environment and what the possible effects of higher flows might be,” Senator Birmingham said.
“This information is really important, as it will guide further work and help us sort through any issues at a local level. It’s a long process and it’s complex, so we need be cautious.”
The reach reports will continue to evolve as more is learnt about how our rivers work. To give feedback on the reach reports, visit the Murray–Darling Basin Authority website by February 2015 http://www.mdba.gov.au/media-pubs/publications/cms-annual-progress-report-to-ministers-2014.