News and Views

Cotton industry welcomes SDL project announcement

Cotton Australia has welcomed an announcement by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) regarding environmental water efficiency projects which could result in an adjustment to sustainable diversion limits (SDL) in the southern Basin.

The MDBA has released its assessment of a package of efficiency projects, nominated by Basin state governments, which could generate environmental outcomes equivalent to 605 gigalitres (Gl). If approved, the MDBA has indicated no further water recovery would be required in the southern Basin to meet the requirements of 2750Gl within the Plan.

Cotton Australia General Manager Michael Murray says the cotton and other irrigating farming industries cautiously welcomed the news from the Authority.

“Although this is a preliminary assessment by the MDBA and is subject to further consultation, it is important news for cotton growers and other irrigators, and a welcome step forward,” Mr Murray says.

“Cotton Australia and other water user groups have long advocated that the Basin Plan had to look further than just simple water recovery, and the MDBA’s announcement is an encouraging sign that such measures are considered valid.”

“Irrigators and the communities they support will have more confidence in the Murray Darling Basin Plan now that the overall sustainable diversion limit can be locked in. Although we are still working through the detail of the projects, the MDBA’s announcement is welcomed.”

The MDBA has invited feedback on its assessment to be submitted before it makes its final assessment and advice to Minister for Agriculture & Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, by mid-December 2017.

Source: Cotton Australia

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