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About Commonwealth environmental water

What is Commonwealth environmental water

As part of Murray-Darling Basin reforms, the Australian Government is acquiring water entitlements with the objective of returning more water to the environment. These entitlements become part of the Commonwealth environmental water holdings and are managed so that increased flows are provided to rivers and wetlands.

The water is acquired through direct buybacks of water entitlements from irrigators as well as savings from infrastructure upgrades. This primarily occurs through the following programs:

How much is there?

As at 31 March 2014, the Commonwealth environmental water holdings totalled 1,710,882 megalitres of registered entitlements.

For more information see:

Figures as at 31 March 2014 - full details of current Commonwealth environmental water holdings registered entitlements available on the How much is there page in this section.

How is Commonwealth Environmental Water being used?

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder is required to use its holdings to protect or restore environmental assets of the Murray-Darling Basin, and other areas outside the Basin where the Commonwealth holds water, so as to give effect to relevant international agreements.

Water that is held in the Murray-Darling Basin is required to be managed in accordance with the environmental watering plan, part of the Basin Plan being developed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority in consultation with state governments and stakeholders.

For more details see:

How much Commonwealth environmental water has been delivered?

As at 31 March 2014, over 3,322 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water has now been delivered to rivers, wetlands and floodplains of the Murray-Darling Basin. Commonwealth environmental water has been delivered together with an additional 1,231 gigalitres contributed by State governments, the Living Murray program and from private donations.

For more information see:

Water Availability and Water Use 2008-09 to 2013-14

The figure below shows water availability and water use as at 30 June each year from 2008-09 to 2012-13, and as at 31 March for 2013-14.

Figures as at 30 June each year from 2008-09 to 31 March 2013-14 - full details of current Water Availability and Water Use available on other How much has been delivered page in in this section.