Sustainable Diversion Limit adjustments
Victorian and New South Wales Bilateral Review of Environmental Outcomes, Assumptions, Interpretations and Application – Independent Expert Panel
10 Feb 2017: An expert panel has been appointed to review the offsets mechanism in the Murray Darling Basin Plan and ensure it delivers real environmental benefits. The panel will provide advice on the technical foundations of the Basin Plan’s Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism.
The mechanism allows for the 2,750 GL recovery target in the Basin Plan to be offset by 650 GL through projects that deliver equivalent environmental outcomes with less water. The SDL is the maximum amount of water that can be taken for consumptive use.
Terms of reference
About sustainable diversion limits
The Basin Plan allows sustainable diversion limits (SDLs) to be adjusted for projects that provide more effective environmental watering or produce water savings, known as SDL Adjustment Measures (or 'supply measures' in the Basin Plan).
The Basin Plan sets a SDL for each catchment and aquifer in the Basin, as well as an overall limit for the Basin as a whole. In order to meet the new limits, 2,750 gigialitres (GL) of water needs to be recovered Basin-wide.
NSW's share of this 'SDL gap' is 1,312 GL, with approximately 965 GL of water recovered to date. For the remaining 345 GL of recovery, NSW is pursuing investment by the Australian government in a range of projects and programs, such as infrastructure and efficiency projects water buybacks.
More information about sustainable diversion limits:
- Update for Stakeholders May 2016 (PDF, 617.64 KB)
- Update for Stakeholders June 2015 (PDF, 233.32 KB)
- Update for Stakeholders January 2015 (PDF, 250.25 KB)
- Summary of NSW Sustainable Diversion Limit adjustment proposal (PDF 87 KB)
- Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism (Australian Government Department of Environment)
Each state must put forward Business Case proposals for each of their SDL adjustment mechanism projects. In some cases, joint proposals can be put forward. This is where two or more states can be the proponent. In these instances, one will be the lead proponent, but both states stand to gain an SDL offset as a result of the proposal.
For more information on NSW SDL proposals:
- The Living Murray environmental works and measures Koondrook - Perricoota Flood Enhancement Scheme and Additional Downstream Flow Options (Joint proposal – NSW led) (soon to be published)
- Modification of Murray Weirs, Locks 8 and 9 Weir Pool Manipulation (PDF, 106.32 KB)
- 2011 Snowy Water Licence Schedule 4 Amendments to River Murray Increased Flows Call Out Provisions (Joint proposal – NSW led) (PDF, 246.79 KB)
- Hume Dam airspace management and pre-releases (Joint proposal – Victorian led) (PDF, 80.64 KB)
- Improved regulation of River Murray (Joint proposal – Victorian led) (soon to be published)
- Change to 6 inch rule downstream of Hume Dam (Joint proposal – Victorian led) (PDF, 84.07 KB)
- Review of Barmah-Millewa Environmental Water Allowance Rules (Joint proposal – Victorian led) (PDF, 78.35 KB)
- Murray and Murrumbidgee valley national parks works
- Alternative supply systems for effluent creeks – Murrumbidgee River (PDF, 150.69 KB)
- Nimmie Caira infrastructure modifications (PDF, 117.73 KB)
- Computer Aided River Management (CARM) Murrumbidgee (PDF, 145.62 KB)
- Improved flow management works - Yanco Creek offtake (PDF, 111.36 KB)
- Structural and operational changes at Menindee Lakes (soon to be published)
- Hume to Yarrawonga Constraints Management Strategy (Joint proposal – Victorian led) (soon to be published)
- Yarrawonga to Wakool Constraints Management Strategy (Joint proposal – NSW led) (soon to be published)
- Murrumbidgee Constraints Management Strategy (soon to be published)
Some of these projects may bridge the gap through an adjustment to the respective SDL. However, for this to occur, NSW must implement prerequisite policy measures (PPMs) in the areas where projects are proposed by June 2019. PPMs are a mechanism to maximise the efficient use of licensed environmental water, whilst maintaining the same reliability of water supply to consumptive users at the establishment of the Basin Plan.
- Fact sheet for Prerequisite Policy Measures (soon to be published)
Environmental Works and Measures feasibility projects
In 2012, the Australian Government funded the Murray-Darling Basin Environmental Works and Measures Feasibility Projects
The NSW DPI Water has submitted an evaluation report to the Commonwealth on the findings:
The NSW Office of Water submitted a report to the Commonwealth in June 2013 detailing the recommended projects:
On this page
- About sustainable diversion limits
- Environmental Works and Measures feasibility projects
- Murray-Darling Basin
- Murray-Darling Basin Authority