Water Monitoring Report provides accountability to water users

3 December 2021

Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, today welcomed the release of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s annual Water Monitoring Report for the 2019-20 water year.

“This report looks at regulated water charges in the Murray–Darling Basin and monitors compliance with the water rules,” Minister Pitt said.

“2019-20 was a dry year and the report finds that about 47% less water was delivered by irrigation infrastructure organisations than the previous year.

“The report recorded a decrease in the volume of complaints in 2019-20 year and importantly there continue to have been no breaches of Australian Consumer Law detected in the 11 years since the report has been produced. 

“The report also demonstrates just how changeable conditions are and how the market can respond. For example, allocation trade involving irrigation infrastructure operators was at a 7-year high in 2019-20 at a time of tight supply.

“Conditions have changed a lot since – with some areas of the Basin experiencing flooding or being at risk of flooding.

“The report provides all water market users with a transparent assessment of water charges and is in addition to the work the Inspector-General of Water Compliance undertakes to provide oversight of compliance with Basin Plan water trading rules.

“Water users and farmers remain well serviced by the Commonwealth through the newly established Inspector-General of Water Compliance and the ACCC.

“This report will be a useful input to the process I established to investigate the sort of sensible water market reform measures our government should consider.

“I thank the Principal Adviser Daryl Quinlivan for the work he is putting in to developing his advice on water market reform.

“A public webinar will be held on Monday, 6 December, to provide interested stakeholders with an update on that work and next steps.

“It’s another way that this government is listening to communities and acting to make sure their views are considered.

“It’s a demonstration of how we’re putting our communities back at the heart of the Basin Plan.”

For information on the water monitoring report visit the ACCC website.

For information on the Principal Adviser’s webinar visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website