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The Basin Plan at a glance


MDBA is using groundwater boundaries that are not aligned with current management units in ... Scenario modelling by RMCG. ... with no exclusions such as urban use. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Basin Plan at a glance

The Basin Plan at a glance
  • Claire Miller
  • Water Policy Analyst
  • Trade Strategy
  • 5 December 2012

Basin Plan 2012 - 2024
  • The Murray Darling Basin Plan was signed into law
    on Thursday, 22 November.
  • Disallowance motions in the House and the Senate
    were defeated.
  • The Plan will be implemented over the next 12
    years, to 2024.
  • The Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) is 10,873GL
    for surface water, which means 2750GL of water is
    to be recovered by 2019.
  • So far, 1577GL has been recovered.
  • The SDL adjustment mechanism allows the SDL to be
    adjusted by /-5, or 544GL in either direction,
    on review in 2016.
  • So the volume ultimately recovered could be
    anything from 2206GL to 3294GL.

The Sustainable Diversion Limit
Baseline Diversion Level 2009 (GL) SDL 2019 (GL) Recovery target by 2019 (GL) reduction reduction with 600GL infrastructure savings
Basin - total 13,623 10,873 2750 21
Basin excl. interceptions 10,903 8153 2750 25 20
Northern excl. interceptions 2541 2151 390 15.3 9.5
Southern excl. interceptions 7993 5704 2289 28.6 23
Southern disconnected excl. interceptions 369 298 71 19
The Water Recovery Strategy
  • The Government is committed to achieving
    environmental outcomes equivalent to 3200GL in
    entitlements, in the following way
  • 600GL in entitlement from Sustainable Rural Water
    Use and Infrastructure Programs (SRWUIP),
    including on- and off-farm infrastructure, by
  • 1500GL in buybacks and State recoveries by
  • 650GL in environmental offsets by 2016
  • 450GL extra in entitlements from more on-farm and
    infrastructure savings in the southern-connected
    system from 2014 to 2024.
  • If all the above is achieved, it equates to the
    recovery of 2550GL in entitlements across the
    Basin (600GL 1500GL 450GL 2550GL).

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Will there be more buybacks?
  • Yes, but at a more moderate and strategic pace.
  • The Government intends to purchase another 239GL
    gradually, to close the gap to 1500GL in total.
  • However, it reserves the right to purchase more
    after 2016 to cover any shortfall in delivering
    650GL in environmental offsets or 600GL in SRWUIP
  • It is unclear whether it would also revert to
    buybacks if less than the additional 450GL is
    recovered through on-farm works or state-approved
  • Social impact neutrality test applies to recovery
    of additional 450GL

Water recoverySouthern-connected system
Baseline Diversions (GL) 2009 Catchment recovery target (GL) Contracted recovery to 30/9/12 (GL) Catchment Gap (GL) Pro-rata of 971GL for downstream (gap)
Murrumbidgee 2000 320 174.6 -145.4 458 (438)
NSW Murray 1708 262 282.3 20.3 458 (438)
Lower Darling 55 8 2.8 -5.2 458 (438)
Vic Murray 1662 253 372.8 119.8 425.3 (305)
Goulburn 1580 344 333.9 -10.1 425.3 (305)
Campaspe 113 18 18.4 0.4 425.3 (305)
Loddon 89 12 3 -9 425.3 (305)
SA Murray 665 101 102.8 2.8 82.8 (80)
ACT pro-rata share of 971GL downstream
component 4.9GL
Baseline Diversion Level 2009 (GL) SDL (GL)
Goulburn-Murray Shepparton Irrigation Region (GS8) 244.1 244.1
Goulburn Murray Highlands (GS8) 38.3 50.5
Goulburn-Murray Sedimentary Plain (GS8) 203.5 203.5
Goulburn Murray deep (GS8) 0 20
Lower Murray Alluvium (shallow Shepparton Formation) (GS27) 81.9 81.9
Lower Murray Alluvium (deep Renmark Group and Calivil Formation (GS27) 88.9 88.9
The Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain SDL will
be reviewed, reflecting argument between Victoria
and the MDBA over interpretation of Victorian
groundwater management plans
Water affordability and availability
  • The reliability of water entitlements will remain
    the same.
  • About 26 less water will be allocated on average
    for agricultural use in the southern connected
  • Water may be scarce and expensive on the
    temporary market in some years and at some times
    of the year.
  • Conversely, dairy farmers with allocation to sell
    to horticulturalists in dry years should get a
    reasonable price.

Implications for GMID
  • GMID produces 76 of milk in the Murray Dairy

Pre-Drought Total feed for dairy 2.5
mt/DM 1543 farms 2300 million litres of milk
Current water available, if no further recovery
for environment Total feed for dairy 2.0
mt/DM 1261 farms 1890 million litres of milk
Scenario 1 loss of another 80GL to deliver BP
minimum of 2210GL Total feed for dairy 2.0
mt/DM 1229 farms 1840 million litres of milk
Scenario 2 loss of another 196GL to deliver BP
commitment of 2550GL Total feed for dairy 1.8
mt/DM 1130 farms 1700 million litres of milk
Based on projected GMID milk production in
2012-13, which indicates dairy farmers have
already achieved a 10 productivity gain on
historical levels in last two to three years.
Closing the gap between 1700ML and the
pre-drought 2300ML requires a 20-25 productivity
increase. Scenario modelling by RMCG.
On-farm water efficiency programs
  •  Pre 2014-15 On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency
  • 5050 sharing of water savings, whereby
    participating farmers transfer entitlements
    equivalent to half the savings they achieve
    across to the environment, in return for the
    Governments investment on their farm.
  • Post 2014-15 1.57b legislated to deliver an
    additional 450GL primarily from on-farm works
    from 2014-2024.
  • Intent to replace the 5050 sharing model with an
    integrated program whereby farmers transfer half
    their savings to the environment, and the
    Government then pays an additional market /ML
    rate for the other half.
  • So the farmer gets the efficiency works, and a
    cash payment on top of that, but does not get to
    keep any of the water savings.

Dairy Australia and RDP support for farmers
  • Dairy Australias water research and development
    programs will assist dairy farmers to adapt to
    the Basin Plan over the next 12 years and beyond.
    Current research includes
  • improving border check irrigation performance
  • performance of lucerne under variable irrigation
  • forage systems for cool temperature pasture-based
    systems and
  • forage assemblies for increasing productivity in
    livestock systems.
  • Murray Dairy field days and other extension
    opportunities to learn about research findings
    and advances in farm system planning and
    technologies, business risk management and
    technical advisory services.
  • MD bid for Regional Development Australia funding
    to take automation, feeding systems, irrigation
    design and robotics developed in research
    programs and road-testing them on farms under
    commercial operating conditions.

Reviews and reports
  • The Basin Plan is an adaptive management plan,
    with the following opportunities for further
  • Water recovery strategy annual review
  • Constraints management strategy by December
  • Groundwater in Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain
    by December 2014
  • Northern Basin SDLs by 2015
  • First SDL adjustment review 2016
  • Second SDL adjustment review 2024
  • Basin Plan impacts advisory report 2017
  • First 10-year Basin Plan review 2022
  • Outstanding issues benchmark conditions of
    development environmental scoring method
    changed funding priorities over next 12 years.

ADF/ADIC advocated for
  • An SDL adjustment mechanism
  • A 1500GL cap on buybacks
  • 650GL in environmental offsets
  • Investment prioritised to environmental works and
    infrastructure funding..
  • The Living Murray works and safety nets
  • Apportionment of the downstream component
  • Ministerial discretion on SDL adjustment
  • Stronger requirements for MDBA consultation with
    the States on methodology, and provision for
    public consultation.
  • Socio-economic neutrality test for additional
    water recovered above the 2750GL benchmark.

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