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Environmental Water Mike Young Executive Director, The Environment Institute Email: [email protected] Basin Plan trade-offs. Conveyance to and through Mouth only 9 in 10 yrs Prepared to lose 25% of red gum forests

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Environmental Water Mike Young Executive Director, The Environment InstituteEmail: [email protected]


Basin plan trade offs
Basin Plan trade-offs

  • Conveyance to and through Mouth only 9 in 10 yrs

  • Prepared to lose 25% of red gum forests

  • Most benefits from 3,000 GL to 4,000 GL are local and occur within region where purchases are to occur

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


Flood water

Entitlements

Entitlements

Environment

Environment with a fully-specified share

Volume of water available

Shared Water

Water needed to ensure conveyance


Key ecosystem functions conveyance
Key Ecosystem Functions& conveyance

How conveyance is defined matters


Institutional design tasks
Institutional design tasks

  • Structural arrangements

    • How environmental water needs are defined

    • How environmental water entitlements are held

  • Strategic arrangements

    • Who manages

    • What options are available to managers

    • Who is accountable for performance

  • Tactics

    • How much flexibility can we give environmental managers?

  • Could set up Regional Environmental Trusts to take prime responsibility and be accountable for environmental water


Structural arrangements
Structural arrangements

  • How should the environment’s entitlement be specified?

    • Same as all other entitlements

  • Who should own the environment’s entitlement?

    • How much held centrally

    • How much held regionally or leased on long term basis to a region

    • What would a regional trust look like?

  • Unrestricted carry forward?

    • Current carry forward rules designed for irrigation industry (efficiency and equity)

    • Continuous accounting would mean less entitlements have to be purchased for the environment

  • Should the environment have to pay its way?

    • Much greater independence if trusts have to pay their way

    • Could be done by forcing them to sell allocations every year


How much water
How much water

  • Remember floodwater and conveyance water contributes to environmental outcomes

  • What type of outcomes do communities want?

    • A Heritage River

    • A Conservation River

    • A Healthy Working River

  • It may be possible to downsize (reconfigure) some parts of the system

  • The MDBA could use the SDL algebra to define a target portfolio of water entitlements to be secured for each region

    => an approach that works with the people in each region

  • The more innovative the institutional arrangements, the less the amount of water needed for the same environmental outcome


“Take”

environmentally sustainable level of take for a water resource means the level at which water can be taken from that water resource which, if exceeded, would compromise:

(a) key environmental assets of the water resource; or

(b) key ecosystem functions of the water resource; or

(c) the productive base of the water resource; or

(d) key environmental outcomes for the water resource.

  • Water allocated to the environment by definition is not part of the “take”


Section 23 water act
Section 23 Water Act

(1) A long‑term average sustainable diversion limit for the Basin water resources, for the water resources of a particular water resource plan area ...... must reflect an environmentally sustainable level of take.

(2) A long‑term average sustainable diversion limit for the Basin water resources, for the water resources of a particular water resource plan area ... may be specified:

(a) as a particular quantity of water per year; or

(b) as a formula or other method that may be used to calculate a quantity of water per year; or

(c) in any other way that the Authority determines to be appropriate.


Summary
Summary

  • Institutional arrangements matter

  • A regional approach may offer a way forward

  • In preference to volumes, the focus should be on the portfolio of entitlements that need to be secured

  • Need to always allow the purchase of water entitlements for the environment after all plans are in place!

text


www.adelaide.edu.au/environment

www.myoung.net.au


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