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Published: 02 October 2019   •   Media statements

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority continues to work with the NSW Government on the development of their 20 Water Resource Plans.

It is important that irrigators and communities have clarity as they consider NSW’s draft Water Resource Plans.

Water Resource Plans set the limits on water extraction and use for each catchment. There are 33 plans with 20 of these in NSW. The NSW Government is currently drafting these plans and seeking public comment.

MDBA Chief Executive Phillip Glyde said water users were legally entitled to use all the water allocated to them, and this would continue to be the case under the new plans.

"States remain able to allocate water up to the sustainable diversion limits of the Basin Plan. The water recovery target is fixed under the Basin Plan. These plans do not impact on the recovery target or Commonwealth government plans for recovery," Mr Glyde said.

The MDBA continues to work with the NSW Government and irrigators to draft Water Resource Plans that meet Basin Plan requirements. The suggested proposal by irrigators to develop guidelines to work through these issues is welcomed by the MDBA. The MDBA is ready to sit down with irrigators and NSW Government.

"We welcome any proposals that still meet Basin Plan objectives. There may well smarter ways of delivering these environmental outcomes. We are happy to work with the NSW Government to consider these options.

"The Basin states have flexibility about how they protect planned environmental water. There must be no backsliding, as the Basin Plan has built–in requirements to maintain the same level of protection of the environment that was within state plans in 2012. We need to ensure that there are no unintended consequences."

ENDS

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