The first environmental release of water from the Northern Basin has travelled more than 2000 kilometres to Menindee, helping to build confidence in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
In May and June, 23 gigalitres of water—the equivalent of 10,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools—were released to connect dry stretches of rivers across outback New South Wales and tracked by satellite.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the water had gotten results.
“The flows have flushed damaging blue-green algae out and have improved food sources and the habitat of plants, fish and birds,” Minister Littleproud said.
“It’s improved the river system from Goondiwindi through Brewarrina and from Bourke to Menindee. A healthy river is important for tourism and tourism is important for Basin towns.
“We are boosting resources to monitor important flows and in improving compliance.
“We’re investing $20 million of Commonwealth funds into improving monitoring, measurement and compliance across the Basin. We’re also establishing a Northern Basin Commissioner to make sure we can deliver more events like this.
“We’re doing these things to improve confidence in the Basin Plan as we aim to deliver it in full and on time.
“I want to recognise the progress New South Wales has made in improving compliance. They introduced and policed these flows and that work has paid off.”
- The Coalition Government has invested $20 million in improving water monitoring networks in the Northern Basin and to improve remote water tracking and compliance across the Basin.
- This year an agreement by all Basin states will see reports on improvements to compliance.
- A Commissioner will monitor activity in the Northern Basin making sure compliance, environmental outcomes and indigenous engagement goals are being achieved.
- The Murray–Darling Basin Authority will review the event and will publish findings later this year.