The Ricegrowers' Association of Australia has consulted
groups across the rice industry, including SunRice to identify potential
opportunities for enhancing water sharing in the Southern Basin between NSW,
Vic and SA.
- A holistic approach to water
sharing, where water is water with a multitude of purposes, rather than
dividing it up into buckets under rigid water sharing arrangements.
- Flexibility for river
operators to adjust dilution and loss commitments under the Murray Darling
Basin Agreement when environmental water is serving the same purpose in
reducing salinity in the Lower Lakes, particularly in dry and drought
- Reducing Lower Lakes levels
in drought years to reduce conveyance and evaporation losses, and to share
drought impacts more equitably across the southern Basin.
- Total South Australian
transparency and accountability on how it manages Murray River water once
it crosses the border, particularly CEWH flows, the dilution and loss
entitlement, and its own environmental entitlement under the MDB
- A comprehensive and modern
gauging network across the Murray River system and its tributaries to
accurately determine the location and volume of conveyance losses, to
enable more efficiency in river operations and assignment of losses.
- Conveyance losses factored
into all allocation trades downstream from their entitlement source zone
in the Murray and its tributaries. The conveyance losses for commercial
trades should be based on a rigorous analysis of losses through the
system, rather than relying on the environment’s arbitrary ‘rule of thumb’
- This change would help to
restore the reliability of NSW Murray and Murrumbidgee general security
entitlements, consistent with commitments in the 2004 National Water
Initiative, the Water Act 2007 and the 2012 Murray-Darling Basin Plan that
the policy reforms would not erode the reliability of anyone’s water
Read the full submission here