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Basin Plan trade-offs

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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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Presentation Transcript
slide1
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
slide3
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
slide8
“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!

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