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Basin annual environmental watering priorities

The priorities guide the planning of water for the environment across the Basin each year.

They aim to:

  • achieve the most effective use of water for the environment
  • promote better environmental outcomes across the Basin
  • coordinate watering between environmental water holders and water managers.

We work with environmental water holders and managers to develop the priorities. This complements planning and watering by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Basin states and local authorities.

The priorities are the actions needed to achieve the long-term environmental outcomes in the Basin-wide environmental watering strategy for native vegetation, waterbirds, native fish, and river flows and connectivity.

We are working to improve how we develop the priorities. Previously they were only applicable to the forthcoming water year. This year we have identified priorities that have multi-year components - and recommend watering actions for a range of seasonal conditions.

This change recognises that to achieve some environmental objectives, a series of watering actions needs to occur over a number of successive years. It also helps environmental water managers to plan for changing conditions.

More information about specific priorities: 


    Working with Aboriginal people

    We are working with The Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) and the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) to integrate Aboriginal people’s perspectives into water planning.

    For the 2017-18 water year we have developed 2 case studies about this work:

    1. Macquarie Marshes (Northern Basin)
    2. Gunbower Forest (Southern Basin)

    These case studies include views of MLDRIN and NBAN delegates and nominated individuals from the Wayilwan and Barapa Barapa Nations.

    Annual water for the environment outlook

    We develop an annual outlook for environmental watering. This describes conditions in the Basin and the  forecast climate, and provides an early indication of the likely watering priorities in 2018 ̶ 19.

     The outlook sets out opportunities to achieve good outcomes for the Basin’s environment. It is an important part of how we consult to develop the priorities.