NSW Farmers anticipates a positive outcome from the Ministerial Council meeting this week, which provides an opportunity for basin states to revisit the balance between water recovery and farming viability in the Murray Darling Basin.
NSW Farmers vice president and Water Taskforce chair Xavier Martin said it's time for leadership in water management, and to move away from outdated theoretical water plans and legislation.
- New Murray-Darling Basin water cops will have regional offices
- Water prices remain low across southern Murray-Darling Basin in 2020/21
"NSW leads the basin states in the metering and monitoring of water, and is establishing a baseline of data that can inform the progress of how the Murray Darling Basin Authority is managed," Mr Martin said.
"Following the welcome removal of on-farm water recovery and growing opposition to a number of water recovery offset projects, these original agreements for water recovery will not be achieved by the 2024 deadline.
Mr Martin said it was time for the Commonwealth to allow flexibility and the introduction of community supported water recovery offset projects.
"Farmers in NSW need certainty that the Commonwealth will not revert to water buybacks if the water recovery offset project targets fall short," he said.
The farmer advocacy group believes a workable plan that can succeed must include; a review of the current Sustainable Diversion limit and constraints management projects, and achieve this through recognising the importance of the adaptability of the plan to achieve long term social, economic and environmental outcomes.
"The Murray Darling Basin Plan was always designed to set a direction and be adaptive to information and changes," Mr Martin said.
"NSW can demonstrate where the original projects are flawed, and provide a way forward to reset the balance."
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