Analysis of water recovery in 41 communities across the southern Murray-Darling Basin as of October 31, 2016 has found water efficiencies have generated 224Gl in water savings.
The analysis, undertaken by Murray-Darling Basin Authority, will be used to understand how water recovery has affected the social and economic outcomes in the basin and its communities.
‘‘Our analysis found that, while the total water recovery in the 41 communities was 1033.9Gl, once we factored in water savings from infrastructure efficiency programs, the net reduction to water available for production was substantially less at 810Gl,’’ MDBA chief executive Phillip Glyde said.
He said this was due to modern and efficient water infrastructure that recovered water that would otherwise have been lost to evaporation or seepage.
Under the programs, a portion of the saved water will be retained by the irrigator while the rest will be transferred to the Commonwealth and counted towards the Murray-Darling Basin Plan’s water recovery target.
‘‘For the 41 communities we look at, this means almost 67Gl of water that would otherwise have been lost remained available for productive use on-farm, whilst still returning 156Gl to the environment,’’ Mr Glyde said.
He said the results confirmed that recovering water through infrastructure rather than purchase lessened the impact of water recovery at a community level.