Greg claydon mdb plan overview nov 2010

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  • 1. Overview of a Water Management Planfor the Murray-Darling Basin, AustraliaRiver Health Assessment WorkshopBeijing, ChinaNovember 2010Greg ClaydonExecutive Director, Strategic Water Initiatives BranchWater & Ecosystem Outcomes Division
  • 2. Presentation outline Background to the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) Background to the MDB Plan  Commonwealth Water Act 2007  Water for the Future Program 2008 Proposed Basin Plan  Context  Process  Content (with a focus on environmental flows) Concluding Remarks
  • 3. The Murray Darling Basin
  • 4. Water management challenges Overallocation Groundwater use impact on surface water systems Serious environmental degradation; reduced environmental flows & water quality Loss of productivity & economic activity Risks to community water supply Severe & prolonged drought & conversely floods Significant water related impacts due to climate change Large and naturally variable basin Multiple jurisdictions
  • 5. Commonwealth Water Act 2007 Provides for integrated management of water resources Enable Commonwealth in conjunction with States to manage Basin’s water resources Optimise economic, social and environmental outcomes Environmental sustainability Improve water security
  • 6. Commonwealth Water Act 2007 Creation of new, independent Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Process for development of the Basin Plan Establishment of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) Water information collection, analysis and distribution (by the Bureau of Meteorology) Audits by the National Water Commission
  • 7. Water for the Future Program A 10 year new $12.9 billion Australian Government fund Four key priorities: taking action on climate change, using water wisely, securing water supplies and supporting healthy rivers Rural Water Use Efficiency ($5.8 billion) Purchase of water for the environment ($3.1billion) National Water Security Plan for Cities & Towns ($1.5 billion) Improving water information ($450 million)
  • 8. Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder(CEWH) Manages the water entitlements purchased by the Commonwealth for the environment Water purchased through the Water For the Future Program should reduce the impact of new limits on diversions set by the basin plan on existing water users
  • 9. Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA)• Role/Functions • Preparing the Basin Plan for Commonwealth Minister’s approval • Accreditation of state water resource plans • Measure, monitor and enforce compliance on water resources • Engaging the community • Some water system operations and natural resources management
  • 10. Examples of Key environmental assets in MDB
  • 11. Approach for environmentally sustainable level of take Based on Five Criteria: 1. Recognised significance; 2. Natural, near natural, rare, unique; Identify Key Environmental Assets (KEA) 3. Critical habitat (drought refuges, breeding sites); 4. Threatened species; 5. Sites of high biodiversity (total 2,442 KEA across MDB) Key large representative floodplains, wetlands – Identify Indicator Assets (IA) total 18 hydrologic indicator sites for 18 IA (a subset of 2,442 KEA across MDB) Location, flow, duration, frequency, spells, Determine Environmental Water intervals – sets environmental demands in Requirements (EWR) for Indicator Assets hydrologic models Focus on ‘in-channel’ functions and processes Determine Key Ecosystem Functions (KEF) (total 88 hydrologic indicator sites for KEF across MDB) Flow indicators examined as indication of KEF – Determine Environmental Water sets environmental demands in hydrologic Requirements for Key Ecosystem Functions models Environmentally Sustainable Modelling, Review, Analysis, Expert Advice Level of Take
  • 12. What does the Basin Plan Mean for WaterPlanning in Queensland?The Basin Plan binds- Basin State Agencies- Infrastructure operators- Holders of water access entitlements (industry)Water Planning- Qld will continue to plan, allocate and manage water resources within its borders but…- Qld Water Resource Plans for MDB catchments will need to be accredited by the Commonwealth Minister responsible for water (with advice to be provided by the MDBA)- Must comply with the Basin Plan
  • 13. Concluding Remarks Water is a scarce, finite, valuable resource Strong governance and clear decision making are important but difficult The best decisions are underpinned by best available knowledge and information including R&D Aim for transparency of and ‘whole of basin’ collaborative approaches to planning and management processes Pursue active stakeholder involvement and understanding
  • 14. Concluding Remarks (cont’d) Test for consistency and coherence of policy (e.g. institutional, entitlement, pricing, planning) Remember principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development and Triple Bottom Line Include adaptive management including requirements for monitoring, reviewing and reporting Consider linking reform milestones with incentives and sanctions
  • 15. More information from the websiteswww.mdba.gov.auwww.derm.qld.gov.auThank You!