Another key step taken to restore our Murray–Darling Rivers

The Restoring our Rivers: Draft framework for delivering the 450 GL of additional environmental water is now available for consultation.

The draft framework outlines three new programs that the Australian Government will establish to deliver the 450 GL target. The programs are:

  • Resilient Rivers Water Infrastructure Program (RRWIP) - delivers options for water recovery infrastructure projects, rules changes, land and water partnerships, and other ways to recover water. This program is now open.
  • Voluntary Water Purchase Program - purchase of water entitlements from willing sellers by the Commonwealth.
  • Sustainable Communities Program - provide community adjustment assistance for Basin communities impacted by voluntary water purchase.

Consultation on the draft framework is open from 30 January 2024 to 4 March 2024. This is to allow relevant stakeholders to have their say on:

  • draft principles
  • program guidelines
  • potential impact to communities.

Relevant groups to take part in this consultation include:

  • communities
  • industries
  • farmers
  • First Nations
  • environmental groups.

The approach to delivering the 450 GL of additional environmental water is guided by three principles:

  • enhanced environmental outcomes
  • minimising socio-economic impacts
  • achieving value for money.

The RRWIP is funded by the Australian Government. It supports state-led water recovery projects for the Murray-Darling Basin to:

  • improve water management
  • reduce water losses
  • return water to the environment. 

It builds on and replaces the Off-farm Efficiency Program to supply a more flexible investment approach than previous programs. With the aim to meet the 450 GL water recovery target.

We invite you to have your say on key parts of the draft framework. This will ensure communities have a say on the design and delivery of 450 GL programs.

The survey includes questions on key parts of the draft framework:

  • Water Recovery Toolbox – Leasing Opportunities
  • Water Recovery Toolbox - Land and Water Partnerships
  • Understanding impacts on communities
  • Proposed Sustainable Communities Program.

You can have your say and view the framework by visiting Consultation Hub.

Read about the recent changes made to the Water Act 2007 and the Basin Plan 2012 - Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Act 2023.