Interim solutions to better manage environmental water

By 2018, the northern Murray-Darling Basin had been experiencing prolonged dry conditions for more than a year. To rapidly counter the deteriorating conditions interim solutions proposed by the IWG were implemented. The power to make a temporary water restriction under section 324 of the Water Management Act 2000 was amended to make it clear that ‘managing water for environmental purposes’ is within the scope of the existing public interest test when making temporary water restriction orders.

This change was made to make it beyond doubt that the management of water for environmental purposes is in the public interest. It does not provide a new power under the Act, instead it merely clarifies an existing one.

A series of section 324 orders were used throughout 2018 and 2019 to address immediate issues with managing water for the environment while the enduring solution framework was established under revised water sharing plan legislation. These temporary water restriction orders protected three flow events in the Barwon-Darling River. Find out more about temporary water restrictions including restrictions currently in place or recently repealed. For more information on these events visit our Working together to achieve positive outcomes page.