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Gillard announces 3,200 gigalitres back to the Murray

By Various experts

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a plan to return 3,200 gigalitres of water to the Murray-Darling Basin (an extra 450 billion litres) from 2019. The Gillard Government has pledged $1.7 billion over a decade from 2014.

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“The MDBA has undertaken modelling of additional water recovery scenarios to evaluate environmental outcomes. Delivery of 3200 GL with key constraints relaxed achieved 17 out of 18 MDBA-defined environmental indicators, compared to 11 out of 18 for 2750 GL, across the four indicator sites of Barmah-Millewa, Gunbower-Koondrook-Perricoota, Hattah Lakes and Riverland-Chowilla Floodplain. Additional evaluation of the MDBA model outputs…demonstrated that 3200 GL was the absolute minimum that could supply enough volume on an annual basis to satisfy South Australia’s environmental watering requirements.

While there are significant ecological improvements evident with 3200 GL compared to the original proposed 2750 GL Basin Plan scenario, many of the South Australian Government defined metrics are still not fully met. This suggests a further increase in flow might achieve even greater environmental benefits. Furthermore, the management of the timing, frequency and duration of the water flows actually delivered to South Australia remains vitally important to achieve the best possible environmental outcomes for South Australia.”

Dr Tony Minns is the Director of The Goyder Institute for Water Research

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There has never been any scientific analysis, released by the Murray-Darling basin Authority or any other scientific institution, to...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

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