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Published: 04 July 2019   •   Media statements

The MDBA welcomes scientific inquiry and review, and we will consider the latest contribution by Professor Gell as part of that process.

The Basin Plan is and continues to be founded on the best available science. It is based on a range of scientific reports, including analysis of 114 years of the Basin's climatic conditions. The science is regularly reviewed by an independent scientific committee. And it is not uncommon for scientists to update their own work when new understanding becomes available.

The Basin Plan is designed to achieve the best possible environmental outcomes across the whole Basin, not just the Lower Lakes and Coorong.

The MDBA has consistently said that historic records from before development of the river point to the Lower Lakes varying between being mainly fresh water with periods of estuarine conditions during periods of low river flow.

The Lower Lakes cannot return to pre-development conditions because there is not enough water coming through the system to maintain the balance between fresh and estuarine. That's why the barrages were built in the 1940s.

To return the Lower Lakes to their pre-development condition would require greater volumes of freshwater to reach the end of the system, and this could only be achieved if much less water was extracted upstream than required under the Basin Plan.

River operations are managed to be as efficient as possible while also protecting the important environmental characteristics of the Lower Lakes.


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