Other ways to achieve environmental outcomes
Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs) are set by the Murray–Darling Basin Plan, which states how much water can be used in the Murray–Darling Basin, while leaving enough water for the environment.
The limits aim to ensure that there is sufficient water to maintain the environmental health of the Murray–Darling Basin, by limiting the amount of water that can be extracted from the Basin, while considering the social and economic impacts of water recovery.
To provide flexibility, the Basin Plan includes a mechanism to adjust the limits without reducing the environmental benefits. If projects can deliver the environmental outcomes targets in the Basin Plan with less water, more water can remain in the system for other users, including irrigated agriculture (known as "supply measures"). Similarly, if farming or other water use practices can be made more efficient, more water can be made available for the environment (“efficiency measures”).