Water diverted for environment use in the Murray River could vary under the latest Murray Darling Basin plan.By Geoff Adams
The 2750 Gl/year sustainable diversion limit proposed by Murray-Darling Basin Authority could be increased or decreased once the new basin plan is introduced.
Victoria argued that the limit could go as low as 2100
‘‘The authority considers that the SDL adjustment mechanism should ensure that SDL adjustment initiatives achieve equivalent or improved environmental outcomes when compared with those to be achieved under baseline operating conditions with 2750
The authority has developed provisions to reduce or increase the recovery of consumptive water where:
The authority has also increased the amount of groundwater that can be extracted in the revised plan.
The total of groundwater SDLs is increased by 139
The authority has increased the sustainable diversion limit for the Goulburn-Murray: Sedimentary Plain groundwater SDL resource from 99.4
Contrary to what some commentators are saying, the latest version of Murray-Darling Basin Plan could still be changed. The second version, released last week after feedback from the state water ministers, still has a long passage ahead of it before reaching federal parliament.
The latest plan is back with Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council, which has three weeks from August 6 to present any further comments to Federal Water Minister Tony Burke for consideration.
He may then approve the plan or request further changes, and only when satisfied will present the plan to the parliament, which has the option of disallowing the plan.
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