Water

Some state water resource plans miss deadline, basin authority reports says

By Country News

Some state water resource plans have not been completed by the due date, a new report by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority says.

The mid-year report card for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan shows sustained effort by basin governments is needed get the plan fully on track in this crucial year of implementation, the authority said.

MDBA chief executive Phillip Glyde said while some work had progressed over the past six months, concerted action in the second half of 2019 was needed to improve the outlook for six key elements of the basin plan.

Mr Glyde said good progress was being made in three areas: water recovery, managing compliance with the rules of water use and the delivery of water for the environment are maintaining a good pace.

‘‘On the other hand, the adjustment to the sustainable diversion limit (SDL) is at risk, finalisation of some water resource plans has been extended because of delays and more work is required to implement initiatives in the northern basin,’’ he said.

‘‘The unprecedented drought has curbed the delivery of water for the environment this year, which means government commitments to fully implement initiatives that protect low flows and environmental water are more important than ever.

‘‘These elements are crucial to the basin plan’s success and are all interconnected.

‘‘They need to move ahead together in order to set the groundwork for a healthy and sustainable basin.’’

Mr Glyde said the MDBA’s role was to independently assess and monitor how the basin plan was being implemented.