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Project progress – adjusting limits

It is important to monitor the sustainable diversion limits and the operation of the sustainable diversion limit adjustment mechanism (SDLAM).

Regular reporting and public assurance is critical for community confidence in the Basin Plan, including the projects that are expected to deliver environmental outcomes and keeping 605 gigalitres (GL) of water in consumptive use.

Project progress and reporting

Updates on project progress are provided regularly. These updates are made through:

The MDBA’s latest assurance report on the SDLAM projects has found that some will not be implemented by 30 June 2024. This means the MDBA will be preparing to undertake a reconciliation in 2024.

Combined, the package of 36 supply projects was expected to deliver 605 GL in equivalent environmental outcomes.

Many of the constraint relaxation measures are estimated to require a further 5 to 10 years to be implemented, beyond the 2024 deadline.

Some Victorian floodplain restoration works may be operational by 30 June 2024 but could be delayed by approvals or construction.

The MDBA will continue to conduct transparent and independent assessments in 2023.

Independent reporting

Indec Pty Ltd was commissioned by the former Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to provide a high-level assessment of the status of the SDLAM program.

The subsequent Indec independent status assessment report was published in April 2021.


The Basin Plan requires the MDBA to undertake a reconciliation of the 2017 adjustment to sustainable diversion limits, if it considers that the result as at 30 June 2024 would be different to that determined in 2017.

Reconciliation tests if the package of supply projects, as implemented in 2024, is capable of delivering the expected environmental outcomes.

The decision on whether to undertake a reconciliation is based on the Authority’s assessment of whether projects will be operational and capable of delivering the anticipated environmental outcomes to those considered in 2017.

The MDBA will consider if the project:

  • is operational by 2024
  • delivers the expected adjustment amount
  • delivers expected environmental outcomes.

The MDBA will use information from Basin governments on the progress and full implementation of the projects, as well as the MDBA’s own assurance of progress and outcomes, to determine whether the anticipated outcomes are able to be achieved.

The MDBA will initiate a reconciliation process in 2024.The MDBA will undertake reconciliation using the default method prescribed by the Basin Plan or an alternative method agreed by the Basin Officials Committee and the Authority.

The MDBA will continue to play a key role in monitoring the integrity of the operation of the adjustment mechanism through to 2024.

The Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism Reconciliation Framework sets out what is required and the MDBA’s approach to reconciliation in accordance with the Basin Plan.

Technical workshops

Community input, along with technical knowledge and on-the-ground practicalities, means these projects will adapt and change over time.

The MDBA convenes technical workshops with Basin states and experts to ensure Basin governments work together and use expert advice to inform the roll-out of the projects.

These workshops provide greater transparency and complement Basin state government engagement activities as part of implementing the projects.

Find out more about the outcomes of the technical workshops.

Updated: 22 Nov 2022