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Some ideas for the Basin Mike Young Executive Director, The Environment Institute. Some design principles and concepts. Hydrological integrity Most interception is included in the SDL algebra Equitable risk sharing with Environment Conveyance reserve specified separately

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Some ideas for the Basin Mike Young Executive Director, The Environment Institute


Some design principles and concepts
Some design principles and concepts

  • Hydrological integrity

    • Most interception is included in the SDL algebra

  • Equitable risk sharing with Environment

    • Conveyance reserve specified separately

    • Environment gets an entitlement for freshes and some overbank work

  • Maximum subsidiarity

    • Uniform definition of SDL across the Basin built around a 114 year average less 3%

    • But CEWH takes a centralised view of the world ....

  • Robust planning as the “premier” control instrument

    • Basin Plan cannot be suspended

    • State Plans to be very difficult if not impossible to suspend


Indicative trade offs for discussion
Indicative trade-offs for discussion

  • Conveyance to and through Mouth 9 in 10 yrs

  • Prepared to lose 25% of red gum forests

  • Most benefits from 3,000 GL to 4,000 GL local and within region where reduction occurs

  • States must comply with SDLs even if Commonwealth fails to buy enough water


Options for consideration
Options for consideration

  • Less subsidiarity in regulated systems

    • MDB could allocate inflows to bulk entitlements held by States

  • An entitlement rather than a planning approach

    • The Act allows SDLs to be defined in any way the Authority chooses

    • Conveyance reserve to be maintained

    • Maximum amount that can be allocated to all entitlements in any year (100% allocation to every entitlement currently in the system plus 100% to interception)

    • Set a target proportion of each entitlement type to be held for the environment in each region

  • Grandfather all existing interception


Some more options
Some more options

  • Continuous accounting for all water in the southern system

    • No restriction on carry forward if storage space exists

    • All inflows in storage adjusted for evaporative losses

  • Regional environment trusts to hold and manage all future entitlements acquired for the environment

    • Innovation in environmental water management

  • A new sharing agreement among States

    • A single bulk entitlement register maintained by MDBA who makes allocations to state and environmental entitlements on this register

    • Entitlement migration to a central register possible

  • Entitlement conversion

    • SA entitlements converted into a mix of Vic and NSW entitlements with conveyance managed by MDB Authority

    • Ground to surface water entitlement conversion when close to river


  • Two crazy ideas
    Two crazy ideas

    • Water for critical human needs standard is 340 litres per day.

      • Could be reduce to something like 160 litres per day and issue tradeable entitlements to industrial and commercial users.

    • Salinity Interception Schemes could be required to hold an entitlement and acquit allocations in the same way as all other entitlement holders.


    Stepping forward regulated systems
    Stepping forward (Regulated systems)

    • Commit to a fully specified entitlement system rather than a planning system

      • Define conveyance water needed throughout the system

      • Define the maximum amount that may be allocated in any irrigation season as the amount held when every “user” including interceptors has 100% allocation

      • Define a target portfolio of entitlements for each district and place them in a MDB entitlement register.

      • Focus on the development of structures that promote innovation in the management of environmental water

    • Commonwealth to put a budget on the table

      • buy at higher and less callous prices

      • place resultant entitlements placing them in regional environmental trusts.

    • Move forward step by step, monitoring, adjusting learning as we go

    • Be the first in the world to fix a river without harming communities


    www.adelaide.edu.au/environment

    www.myoung.net.au


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