Better management of environmental water

The NSW Government is committed to improving the way in which we manage environmental water in the NSW northern Murray – Darling Basin. The Murray–Darling Basin's water resources need to be managed to protect the environment, and the communities and industries that depend on it. The Murray–Darling Basin Plan seeks to find a balance in the way in which the river system is managed.

Both the NSW and Commonwealth Governments have invested public funds in recovering water for the environment. Environmental water must be better managed to maximise environmental outcomes that improve the health of the Basin.

An Interagency Working Group (IWG) with New South Wales and Commonwealth agency representation was established in February 2018 to develop options on how the NSW Government can better manage environmental water.

The NSW Government is progressing the recommendations of the IWG’s interim solutions package to better manage environmental water (PDF 1.8 MB) - released in June 2018.

Changes to water management are needed, but it is a complex issue and it is important to take the time to get the policy mix right.

We are examining solutions to:

  • Better understand northern connectivity
  • Actively manage held environmental water in-stream
  • Manage resumption of flows in the Barwon-Darling, after an extended dry period
  • Limit daily water take in the Barwon-Darling.

We’re undertaking analysis to identify a package of solutions that will improve outcomes, while balancing the needs of the environment and other water users.

We are committed to understanding  the benefits and impacts of the options. Stakeholders will have an opportunity to comment on proposed changes before we make a decision.

Stakeholder consultation will occur in the first half of 2019, once the analysis is available.

The Better management of environmental water – Northern Murray-Darling Basin Snapshot brochure (PDF 9.8 MB) - released December 2018 provides a summary of  the NSW Government’s commitments to better manage environmental water in the NSW northern Murray-Darling Basin, progress to date and next steps.

The Managing water for the environment fact sheet (PDF 59.4 KB) - released February 2019 provides a summary of NSW Government policies for reporting on, managing and recovering water for the environment and the Government’s commitment to improve the way we manage environmental water.

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