The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is seeking public feedback on a new draft Basin-wide environmental watering strategy, which is updated to take in new information and policy developments over the past five years.
The strategy is a long-term watering plan for the Basin and sets out the expected improvements for river flows and connectivity, as well as improvements for native fish and waterbirds and for native vegetation across the Basin.
MDBA Executive Director of Science, Knowledge and Engagement Carl Binning said the strategy helped Basin governments, environmental water holders, water managers and river operators plan and manage water for the environment in dry times and in wet years.
“The Basin Plan requires us to review the Basin-wide environmental watering strategy every five years so we can be sure we’re using up to date knowledge and research, and incorporating learnings from monitoring and evaluation of watering strategies,” Mr Binning said.
“We have conducted the review and released an updated draft strategy for public comment.
“The changes for the 2019 draft strategy include ways to promote greater collaboration between states and water authorities across the Basin to maximise environmental outcomes from watering programs.
“The 2019 draft strategy also reinforces the need to continue to improve the efficiency of management arrangements for the delivery of water for the environment, including policy measures that better protect water for the environment.
“The Basin Plan is an adaptive policy, which allows for changes and improvements as new information becomes available.”
Mr Binning said the strategy balances the needs of the environment and the need to restore the Basin’s rivers to health, with the need for healthy communities, industry and agriculture, and in the interests of Aboriginal communities in the Basin.
“We’re looking for community feedback on our draft strategy,” Mr Binning said.
“Feedback and submissions received by midnight on 2 September will be considered for the final strategy, to be released in November.”
For more information, or to make a public submission, email [email protected] The draft strategy is available for feedback on the MDBA’s get involved website at https://getinvolved.mdba.gov.au/basin-environmental-watering-strategy-2019.