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Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee

The Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee was established in 2014. It supports the coordination of the delivery of water for the environment in the Southern Connected Basin and in particular in the River Murray system, consistent with the Basin Plan, and across multiple environmental water holders and jurisdictions.

Membership

  • Murray–Darling Basin Authority (Chair)
  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
  • Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
  • NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
  • South Australian Department for Environment and Water
  • Victorian Environmental Water Holder
  • Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations – advisory role
  • Murray–Darling Basin Authority – Environmental Water Coordination and River Murray Operations

Roles and responsibilities

Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee’s roles and responsibilities include:

  • coordination of the planning and delivery of water for the environment across catchments in the Southern Connected Basin
  • developing operational scenarios for the delivery of water for the environment in the Southern Connected Basin (including tributary inflows) to inform the River Murray System Annual Operating Outlook
  • ensuring First Nations’ values are considered and included where possible in the planning and delivery of water for the environment
  • input into developing large-scale multi-site watering events and any deviations to river operations that may be required
  • making decisions for the commitment of jointly-managed water for the environment, including water held as part of The Living Murray initiative
  • visibility and input into The Living Murray program budget development and approving annual The Living Murray site management and monitoring activities
  • approving revisions when needed to The Living Murray Environmental Water Management Plans and associated schedules e.g. Operating Plans and Condition Monitoring Plans
  • prioritising any available River Murray Unregulated Flows in the River Murray once upper states have exercised their existing rights to use unregulated flows
  • calling of River Murray Increased Flows from Snowy Hydro Limited storages to River Murray storages consistent with the Strategy for managing RMIF
  • providing a link to the Environmental Water Committee for the Southern Connected Basin, including seeking their advice on water for the environment policy issues.

The Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee seeks to make decisions on water for the environment use by consensus. Where consensus can’t be reached, decision-making is retained by the holders of the specific water for the environment portfolio or product.

Decisions on the use of The Living Murray jointly-managed water are made by Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee representatives for the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, New South Wales, South Australian and the Australian Governments. The Living Murray issues can be elevated to the Environmental Water Committee or Basin Officials Committee for resolution if consensus can’t be reached by Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee representatives.

Updated: 21 Dec 2021