The Murray Darling Basin Plan seeks to address historic over allocation of water for irrigation and associated environmental degradation of rivers, wetlands and lakes.
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan aims to address environmental degradation resulting from historic water overall location for irrigation and other uses, particularly over the last 60 years.
The Plan was signed into law on Thursday 22 November 2012, with a target to recover 2750 GL primarily from irrigators for the environment by 2019.
An annual average 13,623 GL of water was diverted for irrigation and other uses up to 2009. The Basin Plan sets a Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) at 10,873 GL for surface water, which means 2750 GL of water is to be recovered by 2019.
The recovery target can go down by 650GL if environmental works (or 'offsets') can deliver similar or better outcomes to 2750GL with less water. This is called 'downwater'.
The recovery target can go up by 450GL provided no additional negative socio-economic impacts are caused. This is called 'upwater'.
2016-01 - Fact sheet - Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism (PDF, 504KB)
As of 30 September 2016, 1966 GL had been recovered for the environment, including 1651 GL in the southern-connected Basin comprising northern Victoria, southern NSW and SA.
Most of this water was recovered by buying entitlements from irrigators in 2008-2012; irrigators in the southern connected Basin sold about 915 GL to the Commonwealth.
The Basin Plan is affecting water availability and affordability, particularly for dairy farmers in shared irrigation districts. This is presenting a significant adjustment challenge.
Aither report for Dairy Australia 29 July 2016.
2016-07 - Water market drivers in the southern MDB Implications for the dairy industry - 1 page (PDF, 63KB)
2016-07 - Water market drivers in the southern MDB Implications for the dairy industry (PDF, 1.59MB)
Project funding partners: GBCMA, DELWP, DEDJTR, Dairy Australia, GMW, GMW Connections, NCCMA
Regional irrigated land and water use mapping in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District: Dairy Evaluation report (PDF, 3.6MB)
The full technical report and summary covering all commodities in the GMID is available here:
Report commissioned and funded by GMID water leadership forum, formed 28 October 2015 at a water summit in Tatura convened by the Committee for Greater Shepparton and Member for Shepparton, Suzanna Sheed. Forum includes community, industry and government representatives.
GMID water leadership forum - Basin Plan GMID socio-economic impact assessment - 1 page (PDF, 45KB)
Short infographic summary.
GMID water leadership forum - Basin Plan GMID socio-economic impact assessment - 2 page (PDF, 72KB)
Long infographic summary.
The 2750GL Basin Plan aims to keep the lower lakes in SA at 0.4m above sea level in 95 out of 100 years; this will maintain access to water for SA farmers on the Murray Swamps. The 2750GL Basin Plan will also meet water quality targets for the lower lakes and Coorong.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority's scientific modelling indicates an additional 450GL 'upwater' to create a 3200GL Basin Plan will make little if any difference in the lower lakes water level or water quality.
For more information on Dairy Australia's research on the Basin Plan, please contact the manager policy strategy, Claire Miller, on 03 9694 3777, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Basin plan environmental summary (PDF, 391KB)
Environmental effects and models (PPT, 2.53MB)
A summary of environmental effects and modelling.
2012-10 - Hydrologic modelling of the relaxation of operational constraints in the southern connected system methods and results (PDF, 2.77MB)
The MDBA report.
Dairy Australia's water research and development programs will assist dairy farmers to adapt to the Basin Plan. Regional programs include field days and other extension opportunities to learn about research findings and advances in farm system planning and technologies, business risk management and technical advisory services. For more information, please contact your RDP.
The Australian Dairy Industry Council is leading the dairy industry's response to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan's implementation, in conjunction with state dairy industry bodies and in partnership with the NFF and other commodity and irrigation industry peak bodies.
For more information, please contact Australian Dairy Farmers, 03 8621 4200.