There could be 280GL left to be purchased for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, but it is not guaranteed.November 14, 2012 4:40am
There could only be another 280 gigalitres (GL) of water left to be bought back under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Almost 1600GL has already been recovered, mostly through buy-backs.
However, Murray Group of Concerned Communities (MGCC) chairman Bruce Simpson says every gigalitre purchased will have an impact.
Federal Water Minister Tony Burke recently released statistics about the water recovery progress, in a document about his suggested changes to the basin plan.
Under the proposed plan, the government intends to recover 2750GL of productive water for the environment by 2019.
Another 450GL may be recovered later, through infrastructure efficiency works.
According to Mr Burke’s calculations, the government already has almost 1600GL of the 2750GL.
A portion of that water came from infrastructure investment, according to MGCC member Perin Davey, but the majority came from buy-backs.
If the government receives the expected 650GL from environmental works and measures, and the remainder of the 600GL from infrastructure investment, only another 280GL will need to be bought back.
However, Ms Davey said ‘‘no one knows’’ if the government will receive the expected volumes from environmental works and infrastructure investment.
‘‘That is an extreme worry,’’ she said.
‘‘Those figures have come from the states. So we are unaware, we haven’t seen them, we don’t know how robust the modelling is [but] we have faith in the states.’’
Ms Davey said the outcome can also be affected by Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) modelling.
Mr Simpson said even if only 280GL remains to be purchased, it is still significant.
‘‘Every gigalitre is a lot of water and has an impact on our communities,’’ he said.
The MGCC has long campaigned against buy-backs, saying they destroy the social and economic fabric of communities.
Mr Simpson also has concerns about the 650GL of water from environmental measures.
He said the water will be sourced through changes to management of environmental water, through infrastructure or rule changes.
‘‘Rule changes could have a negative impact on our irrigators and irrigated communities,’’ he said.
Mr Simpson said the work won’t be over once the basin plan is passed through Parliament.
He believes irrigation organisations need to ensure there is a high level of accountability in terms of how environmental water is managed.
‘‘This will go on forever, in terms of making sure that communities and irrigation regions get their fair and equitable share of whatever water is in the system,’’ he said.
Mr Burke’s suggestions to the MDBA also said that climate change must be considered in future reviews of the basin plan.
Mr Simpson said there should be a triple bottom line consideration - including social, economic and environmental impacts - in future reviews of the basin plan.
Budding Kyabram actor Taylor Smith Morvell is one of 20 Victorian students chosen to perform his Year 12 theatre studies monologue in Melbourne next week.
The Yarrawonga and District Cemetery Trust has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Department of Health to undertake development work at the Yarrawonga cemetery.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
A man has been taken to Echuca hospital after being trapped for several minutes in his vehicle.
Steve Glassborow has returned for a twentieth year, bringing a range of his bronze sculptures.
Tongala family hopes for transplant call for six-year-old.
Family of former Seymour man killed in a road crash in Los Angeles before Christmas set up a Melbourne University scholarship in his honour.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Leitchville-Gunbower at home was too strong for Heathcote’s senior footballers in their first Good Friday clash.
Huge crowds turned out for Cobram Barooga's River Beaches Festival, which featured a special splash for 2000 rubber ducks.
South West Arts ArtOut will be held again in 2015 after last weekend's inaugural success.
Murray Goulburn has lifted its milk prices to about $6.66 kg milk solids.
Benalla's Kevin Harper will be honoured in the motorcade lap of honour at Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow for his service during the Korean War.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.