Outcome 4: Sustainable water
Adaptation to climate change, wise water use, secure water supplies and improved health of rivers, waterways and freshwater ecosystems by supporting research, and reforming the management and use of water resources
At a glance
- More than 160 gigalitres of water was delivered along the Murrumbidgee River, including nearly 110 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water— for the benefit of hundreds of wetlands and lagoon ecosystems along the main stem of the river. The volume of water delivered was the largest to date and equated to some 80 000 Olympic-size swimming pools.
- After 43 years, environmental flows began again in the iconic Snowy River after the finalisation of a deal between the department and the NSW and Victorian governments in November 2010.
- 387 gigalitres of environmental water was delivered at multiple sites throughout the Basin in 2010–11, compared to 154 gigalitres in 2009–10 and 13 gigalitres in 2008–09.
- 1 118 gigalitres of water entitlements have been secured through the Water for the Future initiative.
- 16 790 water-using product models are registered under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme, helping consumers make smart choices about water efficient products.
The department's objectives in water reform are largely delivered through the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative. The Water for the Future initiative is a program to secure long-term water supplies for the nation and to better balance the water needs of communities, farmers and the environment. The initiative includes a range of urban and rural policies and programs including significant funding for water purchasing, modernisation of irrigation, desalination, recycling and stormwater capture. A major focus is on the Murray–Darling Basin, where programs aim to equip farmers and communities to plan for a future with less water, improve irrigation productivity and improve the health of rivers and wetlands.