Member for Barker Tony Pasin says River Murray communities can now access a monthly point-in-time snapshot that shows what water is being released down the river against environmental licences compared with water for towns, industries and irrigators.


The new transparency initiative from the Murray–Darling Basin Authority, which was in response to feedback from river communities and advice from the Interim Inspector-General of Murray-Darling Basin Water Resources, Mick Keelty.


“For a substantial period of time I’ve been hearing that farmers and communities are concerned about the complexity and transparency of water trading in the Basin,” Mr Pasin said.


“The MDBA is delivering on Mick Keelty’s report which shows there is a need to improve transparency, accessibility and information about Murray–Darling Basin matters,” Mr Pasin said.


“The regular and reader-friendly snapshot will help to build a shared understanding of what water is in the river at a point in time.”


Every day, water enters the river at different points and for different purposes, including irrigation, town water supply, industries and releases against licences for specific environmental benefits.


The monthly snapshot shows in simple terms the volume of flow and the extent to which it comprises water licences held for the environment at five locations—in the Murray River at Yarrawonga and the South Australian border, and in the Murrumbidgee, Goulburn and Darling rivers just upstream of their junction with the Murray.


The proportion of flow from licences held for the environment will vary throughout the year. As a rule, over spring environmental water managers use their allocations to mimic natural flows, while in summer the main users are communities and irrigators.


“This is one small step towards transparency improvement while the ACCC continues their investigation into Murray Darling Basin Water Market,” Mr Pasin said.


The Flow in the River Murray System snapshot will be updated monthly and will be available by subscription in the MDBA’s River Murray System Weekly Report.


Media contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8531 2466