Goulburn-Murray - Dairy Australia

Report
The Basin Plan at a glance
Claire Miller
Water Policy Analyst
Trade & Strategy
5 December 2012
Basin Plan 2012 - 2024
– The Murray Darling Basin Plan was signed into law on Thursday, 22 November.
– Disallowance motions in the House and the Senate were defeated.
– The Plan will be implemented over the next 12 years, to 2024.
– The Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) is 10,873GL for surface water, which means
2750GL of water is to be recovered by 2019.
– So far, 1577GL has been recovered.
– The SDL adjustment mechanism allows the SDL to be adjusted by +/-5%, or 544GL
in either direction, on review in 2016.
– So the volume ultimately recovered could be anything from 2206GL to 3294GL.
The Sustainable Diversion Limit
Baseline
Diversion
Level 2009
(GL)
SDL
2019
(GL)
Recovery
% reduction
target by 2019
(GL)
% reduction
with 600GL
infrastructure
savings
Basin - total
13,623
10,873
2750
21%
Basin excl.
interceptions
10,903
8153
2750
25%
20%
Northern excl.
interceptions
2541
2151
390
15.3%
9.5%
Southern excl.
interceptions
7993
5704
2289
28.6%
23%
Southern
disconnected excl.
interceptions
369
298
71
19%
The Water Recovery Strategy
The Government is committed to achieving environmental outcomes equivalent to
3200GL in entitlements, in the following way:
• 600GL in entitlement from Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure
Programs (SRWUIP), including on- and off-farm infrastructure, by 2019.
• 1500GL in buybacks and State ‘recoveries’ by 2019.
• 650GL in environmental offsets by 2016
• 450GL extra in entitlements from more on-farm and infrastructure savings in
the southern-connected system from 2014 to 2024.
If all the above is achieved, it equates to the recovery of 2550GL in entitlements
across the Basin (600GL + 1500GL + 450GL = 2550GL).
Will there be more buybacks?
Yes, but at a more moderate and strategic pace.
The Government intends to purchase another 239GL gradually, to close the gap
to 1500GL in total.
However, it reserves the right to purchase more after 2016 to cover any shortfall
in delivering 650GL in environmental offsets or 600GL in SRWUIP savings.
It is unclear whether it would also revert to buybacks if less than the additional
450GL is recovered through on-farm works or state-approved measures.
Social impact neutrality test applies to recovery of additional 450GL
Water recovery:
Southern-connected system
Baseline
Diversions
(GL) 2009
Catchment
recovery
target (GL)
Contracted
recovery to
30/9/12 (GL)
Catchment
Gap (GL)
Murrumbidgee
2000
320
174.6
-145.4
NSW Murray
1708
262
282.3
+20.3
55
8
2.8
-5.2
Vic Murray
1662
253
372.8
+119.8
Goulburn
1580
344
333.9
-10.1
Campaspe
113
18
18.4
+0.4
89
12
3
-9
665
101
102.8
+2.8
Lower Darling
Loddon
SA Murray
Pro-rata of 971GL
for ‘downstream’*
(gap)
458
(438)
425.3
(305)
82.8
(80)
*ACT pro-rata share of 971GL downstream component: 4.9GL
Groundwater
Baseline Diversion
Level 2009 (GL)
SDL
(GL)
Goulburn-Murray: Shepparton Irrigation Region (GS8)
244.1
244.1
Goulburn Murray: Highlands (GS8)
38.3
50.5
Goulburn-Murray: Sedimentary Plain* (GS8)
203.5
203.5
0
20
Lower Murray Alluvium (shallow; Shepparton
Formation) (GS27)
81.9
81.9
Lower Murray Alluvium (deep; Renmark Group and
Calivil Formation (GS27)
88.9
88.9
Goulburn Murray: deep (GS8)
*The Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain SDL will be reviewed, reflecting argument between
Victoria and the MDBA over interpretation of Victorian groundwater management plans
Water affordability and availability
The reliability of water entitlements will remain the same.
About 26% less water will be allocated on average for agricultural use in
the southern connected system
Water may be scarce and expensive on the temporary market in some
years and at some times of the year.
Conversely, dairy farmers with allocation to sell to horticulturalists in dry
years should get a reasonable price.
Implications for GMID
GMID produces 76% of milk in the Murray Dairy region
Pre-Drought
Total feed for dairy: 2.5 mt/DM
1543 farms
2300 million litres of milk
Current water available, if no
further recovery for environment*
Total feed for dairy: 2.0 mt/DM
1261 farms
1890 million litres of milk
Scenario 1: loss of another 80GL to
deliver BP minimum of 2210GL*
Scenario 2: loss of another 196GL to
deliver BP commitment of 2550GL*
Total feed for dairy 2.0 mt/DM
1229 farms
1840 million litres of milk
Total feed for dairy 1.8 mt/DM
1130 farms
1700 million litres of milk^
*Based on projected GMID milk production in 2012-13, which indicates dairy farmers have already achieved a 10%
productivity gain on historical levels in last two to three years. ^Closing the gap between 1700ML and the pre-drought
2300ML requires a 20-25% productivity increase. Scenario modelling by RMCG.
On-farm water efficiency programs
Pre 2014-15: On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program
• 50:50 sharing of water savings, whereby participating farmers transfer
entitlements equivalent to half the savings they achieve across to the
environment, in return for the Government’s investment on their farm.
Post 2014-15: $1.57b legislated to deliver an additional 450GL primarily from onfarm works from 2014-2024.
• Intent to replace the 50:50 sharing model with an integrated program
whereby farmers transfer half their savings to the environment, and the
Government then pays an additional market $/ML rate for the other half.
• So the farmer gets the efficiency works, and a cash payment on top of that,
but does not get to keep any of the water savings.
Dairy Australia and RDP support for farmers
Dairy Australia’s water research and development programs will assist dairy farmers
to adapt to the Basin Plan over the next 12 years and beyond. Current research
includes:
•
•
•
•
improving border check irrigation performance project;
performance of lucerne under variable irrigation strategies;
forage systems for cool temperature pasture-based systems; and
forage assemblies for increasing productivity in livestock systems.
Murray Dairy field days and other extension opportunities to learn about research
findings and advances in farm system planning and technologies, business risk
management and technical advisory services.
MD bid for Regional Development Australia funding to take automation, feeding
systems, irrigation design and robotics developed in research programs and roadtesting them on farms under commercial operating conditions.
Reviews and reports
The Basin Plan is an adaptive management plan, with the following
opportunities for further refinement:
1. Water recovery strategy – annual review
2. Constraints management strategy – by December 2013
3. Groundwater in Goulburn Murray Sedimentary Plain – by December 2014
4. Northern Basin SDLs – by 2015
5. First SDL adjustment review – 2016
6. Second SDL adjustment review – 2024
7. Basin Plan impacts advisory report – 2017
8. First 10-year Basin Plan review – 2022
Outstanding issues: benchmark conditions of development; environmental
scoring method; changed funding priorities over next 12 years.
ADF/ADIC advocated for:
• An SDL adjustment mechanism
• A 1500GL cap on buybacks
• 650GL in environmental offsets
• Investment prioritised to environmental works and infrastructure funding..
• The Living Murray works and safety nets
• Apportionment of the downstream component
• Ministerial discretion on SDL adjustment recommendations
• Stronger requirements for MDBA consultation with the States on
methodology, and provision for public consultation.
• Socio-economic neutrality test for additional water recovered above the
2750GL benchmark.

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