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Published: 21 February 2019   •   Media release

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has released its first progress report into projects designed to make water use more efficient and to improve river management across the Basin under the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism (SDLAM).

Under the Basin Plan three core project areas have been put in place; supply measures, constraints and efficiency measures. This report details the progress with these projects that need to be delivered by 2024.

MDBA Executive Director of Partnerships Carl Binning said the MDBA has reported progress and warned that work needs to be accelerated to ensure projects are in place to deliver for the environment by 2024.

"This report is an early MDBA health check on the progress of the process," Mr Binning said.

"The projects are an ambitious collaboration of Basin governments, and are an historic opportunity to move from a river management system designed primarily to extract water for agricultural use, to one that was optimised to achieve a range of benefits based on a healthy river system.

"The report fulfils the MDBA's commitment to report annually and to ensure environmental outcomes can be achieved and to improve transparency of the process.

"The report acknowledged Basin governments' ongoing commitment to deliver all of these projects, but noted there is a substantial amount of work to be done.

"Key priorities include finalising funding and governance arrangements, ensuring project designs are robust and increasing efforts to engage and work with communities to support on-ground implementation."

Once delivered, the projects will deliver the equivalent environmental benefits of recovering 605 gigalitres in the southern basin, while 450 gigalitres of water for the environment needs to be delivered to the rivers in return, through efficiency measures that must have neutral social and economic impacts on communities.

The SDL Annual Progress Report is available on the MDBA website.

ENDS

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