The Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) is Australia’s most important river basin for irrigated agriculture. Over the past several decades, water has been allocated to irrigation with only passing regard paid to sustainable levels of extraction. Consequently, most of the 20 or so river valleys in the MDB are ‘over-allocated’. Not only are irrigators not getting their full entitlements, but the river and floodplain environment has been severely degraded.
In my last blog I mentioned that in 2003 some water was allocated to the river environment to start addressing this problem. But that was only the beginning.
Tomorrow, Friday October 8, the first major revision in water allocations in the Murray-Darling Basin in over 100 years will be announced by the MDB Authority. The announcement comes in the form of the ‘Guide to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan’ .
Interest across Australia is extremely high.
More on this next week after I have had chance to digest the findings.
Update: Friday 8 October AM. You may like to listen to an interview with myself and others on the ABC Radio National breakfast program this morning. You can stream or download audio at: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2010/3032641.htm