Murray Darling Basin (Update)

08 May 2013

The Plan came into effect on 24 November 2012.  It sets Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs) on the quantities of surface water and groundwater that may be taken from the Basin's water resources, as well as an overall limit for the Basin as a whole.

However, such limits will not be enforceable until 2019 and, in the interim, there will be opportunities for further research to improve knowledge about environmental water needs as well as the social and economic impacts.  The SDLs will be reviewed in 2015 by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) with input from each of the Basin States. In the course of this review, regard should be had to, among other things, any improved estimates of environmental watering needs, water savings initiatives, the effect of water acquisitions by the Commonwealth and State, policy changes and improved processes.  The Minister should decide any changes to SDLs in 2016, based on recommendations by MDBA, and such changes will need to be supported by Parliament.

By 2019, the State's water sharing plans will need to implement the Basin Plan’s requirements (reflecting any adjustments to SDLs) and be accredited by MDBA, at which time the adjusted SDLs will be enforceable.           

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