Declaration lacks detailed solution: MDA

February 10, 2018

THE Murray Darling Association believes halting water recovery is not the solution.

THE Murray Darling Association believes halting water recovery is not the solution.

MDA has reacted with concern to the new report which calls for a halt to all publicly funded water recovery through irrigation efficiency programs.

A group of 12 academics met in Adelaide on Monday and signed a document branded the Murray-Darling Declaration.

The group is also pushing for an audit of all basin water recovery and the planned Sustainable Diversion Limit adjustments, and the creation of an independent scientific body to monitor and advise on meeting the targets of the 2007 Water Act.

The academics said the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was failing to meet its environmental objectives and that for many water recovery infrastructure projects there was no scientific evidence they had increased stream flows.

Murray-Darling Association national president David Thurley said the declaration highlighted known issues with the plan but didn’t propose detailed solutions.

“The MDA would be deeply concerned about the economic impact of any halt to publicly funded water recovery associated with irrigation infrastructure subsidies/grants,” he said.

“The signatories to the Murray Declaration represent a collective of substantial knowledge across the individual signatories, and significant institutional capacity.

‘‘We would like to encourage the signatories to collaborate with impacted communities to identify constructive solutions.”

Cr Thurley said while the MDA shared the view that some of the projects underpinning the Sustainable Diversion Limit adjustment lacked detail, it was broadly supportive of the suite of supply measure projects.

He said all such projects would need to be developed and implemented in close consultation with local government and communities.

“The MDA represents local government and can provide comprehensive feedback on the impacts in communities, so we would encourage responsible governments and agencies to collaborate more closely with us,” he said.

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