Source: Murray Darling Basin Authority
Changes in water use on the River Murray system have highlighted concerns regarding the risk of shortfall. The states (New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria) have worked with the MDBA to understand the drivers of shortfall risk and how the changes are impacting the risk of a shortfall.
There have been significant changes across the southern connected Basin over time. These include:
- trading of water to support new permanent horticulture developments in the Mallee region
- recovery of water to support environmental outcomes
- large increases in volumes of Inter-Valley Trade (IVT)
- a reduction in the capacity of the Barmah choke.
The Report Managing Delivery Risks in the River Murray System brings together a broad range of studies to understand the changes in the River Murray system. It finds that key reaches of the River Murray system and its tributaries are being operated at flows in excess of tolerable seasonal rates.
This paper summarises the key findings from those studies in plain English. It presents objectives and principles to guide the changes required. It sets out actions to establish a functional delivery framework. It also proposes exploring long-term options for restoring delivery capacity in the lower Murray system to understand their effectiveness and what the costs, impacts and beneficiaries will be.