26 September 2023

Rain brings positive outlook into Murray

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The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has released its sixth report card on the Basin Plan, responding to community feedback for short and succinct updates on water reform progress.

Acting Chief Executive of MDBA, Andrew Reynolds said the July 2021 Report Card considered seven key elements of the Basin Plan including water resource plans; water recovery; Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism (SDLAM) supply and constraints; SDLAM efficiency measures; northern Basin initiatives; compliance and environmental water.

Mr Reynolds said the Report Card showed a wetter than average summer across most of the Basin meant following autumn rainfalls provided sustained flow down the Darling River for the first time in five years.

“The rain brought flooding to important wetlands but also inundated some towns, created water quality risks in some areas, and did not reach all drought affected regions,” Mr Reynolds said.

“The Outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology is for above-average rainfall into winter and good summer harvests and favourable winter cropping conditions are boosting regional optimism,” he said.

Mr Reynolds said the Report Card showed progress across most activities of the Basin Plan but the progress of some key activities remained slow, which was prolonging uncertainty for Basin communities that wanted to see completion of the water reforms.

“All Basin Governments need to consider where actions can be fast-tracked, or where approaches need to be adapted, to keep implementation on track, so that the outcomes of this complex reform can be achieved in the national interest,” he said.

Mr Reynolds said the Report Card reflected the renewed effort to progress SDLAM supply and constraints measures, particularly the New South Wales Government’s commitment to engage and work with communities to build their support for the water saving projects.

The MDBA’s 21-page July 2021 Report Card can be accessed at this PS News link.

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