Murray-Darling rescue plan welcomed

The proposal to scale back water use in the Murray-Darling Basin by more than a third puts the nation at the forefront of international water conservation efforts, says Professor Richard Kingsford.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has now released for public consultation its Guide to the Proposed Basin Plan. It's the first stage in developing a new strategy to secure the Basin's long-term health.

The Guide proposes scaling back water use across the Basin by 27 to 37 per cent, in order to replenish the river system with between 3,000 and 4,000 gigalitres of water annually.

Professor Richard Kingsford, Director of UNSW's Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre, says Australia has embarked on a historic path of returning the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin to a more sustainable level.

"This is one of Australia's more important decisions on water and puts the nation at the forefront of international efforts to rehabilitate river systems degraded by over-allocation of water," said Professor Kingsford.

"The best environmental outcomes will be delivered for the Murray-Darling Basin rivers if the Authority delivers final recommendations at the top of the range of cuts to extraction of water to ensure delivery of sustainable diversion limits."

Read Professor Kingsford's full response to the Authority's draft proposal here.

Media contact: UNSW Faculty of Science - Bob Beale | 0411 705 435