The commitment from the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council to focus future water recovery on off-farm measures is welcomed.
The council, which met in Canberra last week, also agreed to undertake further work to develop criteria to assess neutral or beneficial social and economic outcomes that took account of wider regional impacts.
The current test in the basin plan says if a water holder puts their hand up to participate in a water recovery program, then there is no negative impact. But the reality in the basin is that all water recovery has an impact.
Irrigators have long been highlighting that the impact of water recovery is cumulative and we are pleased the Ministerial Council will have another look.
Recent assessments by the Victorian Government and the MDBA clearly show the basin plan has had significant social and economic impacts. Credit to the Ministerial Council for taking that on board.
chair, Southern Riverina Irrigators