Active management of the Murray-Darling Basin is required to protect the Basin’s ecosystem and ensure water is available across the Basin for future generations.
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan has formidable challenges for its successful implementation and requires adjustment to respond to the impacts of climate change and ensure fair distribution of water between the states. In amending the plan, ATSE urges scientific evidence, rather than political considerations, be considered first and foremost. ATSE further urges the current consultation on delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to take into account the long-term impacts of proposed approaches.
ATSE makes the following recommendations to inform proposed approaches to water recovery and use efficiencies:
Recommendation 1: Prioritise the development and implementation of water management technologies including smart water sensors to provide timely and consistent monitoring data across Basin states and institutions.
Recommendation 2: Harmonise definitions in Basin states’ legislation in accordance with the National Water Initiative.
Recommendation 3: Utilise water buybacks as the primary short-term mechanism to deliver the water recovery target component of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Recommendation 4: Consolidate and require transparency of community consultation processes for Murray-Darling Basin reviews.
Recommendation 5: Evaluate ideas to deliver the Murray-Darling Basin Plan against long-term impacts on Basin health and communities.