Issues Paper: Multi-Jurisdictional Management and Execution of the Murray Darling Basin Plan

December 2019

© Commonwealth of Australia 2019

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Committee membership

Terms of Reference

Executive summary and issues for consideration

  The purpose of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
  The preparation of this issues paper
  Summary of issues outlined in this paper
  Questions for consideration
  Structure of this issues paper

Map of the Murray-Darling Basin in context to Australia


Chapter 1—Background and context of the Plan

  Management of the Basin
  Governance arrangements
  Intergovernmental agreements
  The Murray-Darling Basin Plan
  Financial transparency
  Adaptive management and changes to the Basin Plan
  Constitution Alteration (Water Resources) 2019

Chapter 2—Consumptive water limits and water recovery

  Sustainable Diversion Limits
  SDL Adjustment Mechanism
  Water Resource Plans
  Reporting and compliance
  Water recovery

Chapter 3—Environmental water

  Key parties in the recovery of environmental water
  Planning for environmental water
  Coordinating the delivery of environmental water
  Monitoring and measuring the impact of environmental watering
  Communicating the purpose and impacts of environmental watering
  Drought and the independence of environmental water holders
  Protection of environmental water in NSW
  Maximising the benefits of environmental water

Chapter 4—Water trade

  ACCC Murray-Darling water markets inquiry
  Contextual information
  How is water traded in the Basin?
  Basin Plan trading rules

Chapter 5—Basin Plan compliance

  Key reviews and inquiries
  Basin States compliance obligations and regulatory frameworks
  Metering arrangements
  Transparency and accountability
  Compliance and enforcement frameworks
  MDBA compliance functions
  Calls for a water audit
  Legislation to address compliance matters
  Establishing an Inspector-General of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources

Chapter 6—Monitoring and evaluating Basin Plan implementation

  Division of reporting responsibilities
  MDBA reporting and evaluation requirements
  Basin states reporting and evaluation requirements
  Productivity Commission reporting and evaluation requirements
  Limitations of cross-jurisdictional oversight

Chapter 7—Drought, climate change and critical human water needs

  Many locations in the Basin are experiencing severe drought conditions
  Water for Critical Human Needs is prioritised in the Basin Plan
  The Water Act and the Basin Plan include requirements to ensure water is available for critical human needs
  Water Resource Plans detail processes for dealing with extreme events
  Role of water infrastructure development
  How is research and data used to plan for the impacts of drought and climate change in the Basin?

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