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Published: 17 April 2020   •   Media statements

We welcome the Interim Inspector-General of Murray–Darling Basin Water Resources Mick Keelty's report into the long-standing water sharing arrangements in the southern Basin.

We cooperated fully with Mr Keelty's team and provided them with data and facts as they requested. They challenged us rigorously, and subsequently found that as river managers we are doing a good job.

We know some irrigators will feel disappointed that the report has not unearthed any new water for communities doing it tough because of the drought, however it does show that every drop is accounted for and is made available to the state governments to manage and allocate according to their rules.

Our river operators are expert at what they do and they work cooperatively with their state colleagues. They make daily decisions in real time to maximise the amount of water available for communities, irrigators, other water users and the environment.

We've been working hard to increase the transparency and accessibility of water management information, but we know there is always more that can be done. We will work with Basin governments as the Interim Inspector-General has recommended, so people can get the information they need and want.

This report also shines a welcome light on how the changing climate is impacting inflows and therefore state water shares, particularly in New South Wales. We've commissioned the CSIRO to model possible climate scenarios that we could face by 2050 in the northern and southern Basin. This research will help us all to better understand what changes are required to ensure we all have a sustainable future.

We welcome and support the recommendations made by the Interim Inspector-General in his report and note that many of them are already underway. We'll fast-track their implementation with the active support of Basin governments. The report is available on the website of the Interim Inspector-General at https://www.igmdb.gov.au/reviews.

ENDS

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