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The Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism assessment – draft determination

Oct 23, 2017
Author: Goyder Institute


The Basin Plan sets Sustainable Diversion Limits, which is how much water can be used in the Murray–Darling Basin, while leaving enough water for the environment.

Adjusting Sustainable Diversion Limits is a key step in delivering the Basin Plan. The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has assessed a suite of projects, nominated by Basin state governments and determined the proposed adjustment to the Sustainable Diversion Limits.

The approach agreed by governments also includes efficiency projects, which allow more water to be made available for the environment by implementing projects that make farming practices more efficient. Up to 450 gigalitres is expected to be recovered between now and 2024, subject to these projects having neutral social and economic impacts.

This is just the start of the process. Basin state governments have until 2024 to implement the projects, and will work with communities, industry and experts on project design and implementation.

The Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism: Draft Determination Report outlines the adjustment Basin-wide across the southern Basin and also at a catchment level. Subject to existing water recovery contracts being delivered, and the implementation of the Adjusment Mechanism efficiency component, this will mean no further water recovery in the southern Basin. It also provides an overview of the Adjustment Mechanism and its role in the Basin Plan, the methodology developed to assess projects and a description of each of the projects nominated by Basin state governments.

The Sustainable Diversion Limit assessment is available for public comment from 3 October to 3 November 2017.