It confirmed what prior studies had indicated: if the basin's aquatic plants and animals are to survive, if we're to prevent the river from being choked by salt and toxic algal blooms, we need to increase average annual flows by between 3,856 and 6,983 gigalitres
Modern Sydney uses about 600 gigalitres
of water a year.
But a small win was achieved in November when the federal government agreed to return 500 gigalitres
of water to the Murray-Darling system, and commit $125 million to help restore the river to health.
of water access entitlement trade (Frontier Economics 2009).
Risks to shared water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin Estimated impact of the risks on total surface water over the next 20 years, in gigalitres
Irrigation return flows 90 Bushfires 129 Afforestation 193 Groundwater 337 Farm dams 900 Climate change 1000 Statlink http://dx.
The Ernst & Young report released today was commissioned by the Commonwealth to analyse efficiency measures in the Murray-Darling Basin, particularly how to recover the extra 450 gigalitres
of water needed for a healthy river to flow into the Coorong, Lower Lakes and the mouth of the River Murray.
This season, it will help manage more than 100 gigalitres
of water across eight irrigation regions in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Clean TeQ expects that this technology can contribute to the improvement in the quality of hundreds of gigalitres
of additional water that can contribute to the "environmental" flow of the Murray-Darling basin.
The analysis was borne out of an agreement in March, by Basin Ministers to commission an independent assessment of methods to recover 450 gigalitres
of Basin water while ensuring neutral or improved socio-economic outcomes.
For the mighty Murray-Darling Basin to be restored to health the river needs an extra 4000 gigalitres
(10 Sydney Harbours) flowing down its course each year.
of the 1 million gigalitres
falling in the northern catchments each year, about 65 per cent evaporates or transpires from soils, plants and water bodies.
The South Australian Government will insist that Basin states recommit to their promise of the 450 gigalitres
of water in the first meeting of Water Ministers since Four Corners aired allegations of water theft and mismanagement in July.
NSW agreed to release 148 billion litres (or gigalitres
(GL)) of upper Darling floodwaters from the Menindee Lakes to help keep inflows to the lower Darling and Murray above critical levels.
This means that despite all the talk about the dire state of the Murray-Darling and the need for urgent action, almost no water will be returned to the stressed Murray River in the next term of government--delivering at best 200 gigalitres
--while the science is telling us the river system needs at least 1,500 gigalitres
just to have a moderate chance of survival.
The flow rate is expected to remain at 700 ML/day until the total volume held in the lakes reaches 480 gigalitres