Making better use of environmental water

13 June 2019
  • $129 million for 17 water infrastructure projects across the Southern Basin
  • Keeps 605GL of water in productive use by farmers and irrigators
  • Projects part of the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism delivered by the Coalition last year

Murray-Darling communities in the Southern Basin will be able to hold onto another 605 gigalitres thanks to 17 projects that make better use of the environmental water we already have.

Minister for Water Resources David Littleproud said the projects would return the same outcome as another 605 gigalitres of water.

“Farmers have to be smart with water, now we’re being efficient with environmental water too,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We’re investing $129 million across NSW, Victoria and South Australia to minimise water losses when delivering it to the environment.

“This means we don’t have to buy back another 605 gigalitres in the Southern Basin.

“Communities right across the Basin are struggling from the Rudd-era buybacks and we don’t want to put them under any more pressure.

“This gives Southern Basin communities and irrigators’ greater certainty and confidence to invest.

“Many of these projects are already underway. I’ve approved the first milestone payments for Victoria and NSW.

“Cooperation between Basin states is vital in managing the Basin’s water resources and giving water users greater certainty.

“We’re getting on with the job of implementing the Basin Plan with the Basin states and this is great news for Basin communities.”

In New South Wales, more efficient water management will improve floodplains and wetlands at Yanco Creek and Millewa Forest. Better native fish passages are being built across weirs to improve habitat and breeding. Funding will also go towards design and approval of the Menindee Lakes Project and engagement with the local community.

In Victoria, supply measure projects will return more natural flows across 15,000 hectares of high value floodplains and will contribute to the health of the Murray River and the local communities.

South Australia will enhance natural flows along the River Murray to reach more environmentally valuable areas such as wetland and floodplains.

Fast Facts:

  • Seven projects are in NSW, nine in Victoria and one in South Australia.
  • Projects part of an agreed package of supply and constraints measures under the Basin plan, enabling 605 GL to remain in productive use.
  • Supply measures help achieve Basin Plan environmental outcomes and enable 605GL of water to remain in productive use for farmers and irrigators.
  • Measures remove or ease constraints delivery of environmental water allowing improved environmental outcomes.
  • Coalition Government funding will be provided to the Basin States in two stages. Stage 1 is pre-construction and Stage 2 is implementation.