New rules and regulations

Water resource plans and water sharing plans

We are currently developing twenty Water Resource Plans (WRPs) in the Basin.

The WRPs are an important part of implementing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Each water resource plan sets out rules for how water is used at a local or catchment level.

These new rules include new limits on how much water can be taken from the system, how much water will be made available to the environment, and how water quality standards will be met.

Water resource plans outline how the NSWGovernment aims to achieve community, environmental, economic and cultural outcomes each plan area and ensure that State water management rules meet the Basin Plan objectives.

Water Sharing Plans (WSPs) are a major part of the WRPs and the principal legislative instruments for water planning in NSW. As such, WSPs are being redrafted to more effectively implement the Basin Plan. This includes an update of the environmental objectives.

Southern Basin Pre-requisite Policy Measures

When setting the Sustainable Diversion Limit, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) assumed that certain policies measures (known as pre-requisite policy measures or PPMs) would be in place. PPMs aim to maximise the environmental benefits from the use of held environmental water. Without PPMs in place, more environmental water would need to be recovered to achieve the same objective.

PPMs provide for the use of held environmental water at multiple sites (environmental flow reuse) and the opportunity to order environmental water from a headwater storage during a natural flow event (piggybacking).

In NSW, PPMs are implemented in the Murrumbidgee and NSW Murray and Lower Darling regulated river systems. View more information on NSW implementation of PPMs.

Further information on is also available from the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.