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Your suggestions for potential water use options

The management, delivery and monitoring of Commonwealth environmental water relies on considerable advice and assistance from local organisations, state governments and others.

Individuals and groups within the Murray-Darling Basin community are encouraged to submit suggestions for the use of Commonwealth environmental water.

This includes, but is not limited to, catchment management authorities, not-for-profit organisations, community groups, Indigenous organisations, and landholders.

The following information outlines the steps involved in developing a proposal for the use of Commonwealth environmental water.

Complete your expression of interest form

The first steps are to download and fill out the Commonwealth environmental watering expression of interest form.

Once you have completed your expression of interest form, please send it to us via post or email.

You will need to provide:

  • your name and contact details
  • a brief description of the site
  • a brief description of the need for environmental water
  • your best estimate of the size, timing and duration of the proposed watering action, and/or a description of possible longer-term watering arrangements, if relevant, and
  • brief details of any co-contribution that could support the Commonwealth's investment in the watering action.

All information in your expression of interest will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.

Can I get advice before I start my expression of interest?

Yes you can. Please call 02 6274 1111 (switchboard for the Department of the Environment and ask to speak with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office).

How do I submit my expression of interest?

By mail:

If you chose to submit your expression of interest via mail, electronic copies of the documentation would be appreciated, or alternatively placed on CD/DVD and mailed to:

Assistant Secretary
Environmental Water Use Branch
Commonwealth Environmental Water Office
GPO Box 787

By email:

Please email your expression of interest to:

Please make sure that your email is:

  • clearly marked in the subject line as a 'Expression of Interest - Commonwealth environmental watering'
  • below five megabytes (5mb) in file size. To minimise file size you may need to reduce the use of images/photos included in your expression of interest.
  • a Word file and, if possible, a PDF file.

Staff from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will contact you to confirm the receipt of your expression of interest.

What happens after I submit my expression of interest?

Staff from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will make a preliminary assessment of your suggested environmental watering option as outlined in your expression of interest. We will then contact you to help you develop a more detailed proposal and consider arrangements for use, or to discuss why your suggestion was not considered feasible at this time. In some cases, we may suggest that you develop your proposal in coordination with other organisations, such as state governments or other environmental managers.

Developing the proposal

Developing the proposal will involve providing more detailed information about the suggested use of Commonwealth environmental water so that we can consider how it aligns with the following five criteria for assessing environmental watering actions:

  • the ecological significance of the asset(s)
  • the expected ecological outcomes from the proposed watering action
  • the potential risks of the proposed watering action at the site and at connected locations
  • the long-term sustainability of the asset(s) including appropriate management arrangements, and
  • the cost-effectiveness and operational feasibility of undertaking the watering.

Assessment and decision

Staff from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will then assess the merit of your proposal against the five criteria and provide a recommendation to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, who will make the decision about the use of the water.

In addition to the information you provide, the decision to provide environmental water will include considerations such as:

  • the amount of available Commonwealth environment water
  • the current water availability scenario
  • the priority of the proposal relative to the range of other potential environmental watering actions across the Basin
  • the current and expected operational environment (e.g. river height, management arrangements for delivery), and
  • advice from state governments, river operators, local site managers and the Environmental Water Scientific Advisory Committee.

For more information on the assessment process, please see the Framework for determining Commonwealth environmental water use.

Delivery and reporting phase

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will coordinate closely with all delivery partners to establish arrangements for the delivery of the water. These arrangements will include provision for monitoring and reporting on the outcomes of the watering action. Once a decision has been made, the water will be delivered and information will be made available about the action on the Commonwealth Environmental Water website.


If you have any questions about this process, or any other comments or suggestions, please call the contacts referred to above or send an email to: