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Sustainable diversion limits reporting and compliance framework

The Basin Plan sets sustainable diversion limits (SDLs), which is how much water can be taken from the Murray–Darling Basin' s rivers. This limit ensures there is enough water remaining in the environment to keep the river system and groundwater resources healthy.

The MDBA has the responsibility to monitor Basin state compliance with the SDL, once WRPs have been accredited. In doing so, the MDBA must establish, maintain and publish a register of the amount of water taken each year in each SDL resource unit (region) across the Basin. The enforcement of SDLs commences in July 2019.

Following a Basin-wide compliance review in 2017, the MDBA was required to develop and publish a SDL Reporting and Compliance Framework. The Framework details the MDBA' s approach to reporting and assessing compliance with SDLs.

This work has been well progressed, and feedback is being sought from Basin states.

Since the Compliance Review, the Basin Plan 2012 has been amended. The amendments affect the treatment of SDL reporting and compliance, particularly in relation to groundwater.

The MDBA has revised the timing of the release of the SDL Reporting and Compliance Framework to later in 2018. Moving back the release of the Framework will ensure the policy reflects the most current legislative requirements.

While the Framework is being finalised, an overview of the MDBA's intended approach to SDL compliance is set out in MDBA's Draft SDL Reporting and Compliance Framework summary. For more information about the framework, please email

Download a copy of the Draft SDL reporting and compliance framework summary.