The national voice for Australian dairy farmers

Water management

Water management

Water certainty and security is crucial in all dairy regions for farming options, milk production levels and industry reputation. Changes in water regulation in the Murray-Darling Basin are particularly relevant for dairy as 25 per cent of all Australian milk is produced in the Murray Darling Basin. With a 26 per cent reduction in annual average water available for irrigation, trade and carryover in the Basin, the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) implementation needs to provide farmers with more certainty about how water will be recovered and charged.

With the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan now well underway, the dairy industry supports reconsideration of roles and responsibilities to ensure greater clarity and efficiency in the delivery of the plan. 

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan aims to address environmental degradation resulting from historic water over-allocation for irrigation and other uses, particularly over the last 60 years. The Plan was signed into law on Thursday 22 November 2012, with a target to recover 2750 GL primarily from irrigators for the environment by 2019.

The ADIC is leading the dairy industry’s response to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan’s implementation, in conjunction with state dairy industry bodies and in partnership with the National Farmers Federation and other commodity and irrigation industry peak bodies.


Policy priorities 

    • Meet the 2750GL target in full before considering the 450GL 'upwater'.
      • Ensure the full 650GL in environmental offsets are reflected in the water recovery models.
      • Assess the potential socio-economic effects of the 450 GL ‘upwater’ before recovering it.
      • Measure the socio-economic effects at a community, rather than individual, level.
      • The Basin Ministerial Council to determine terms of reference for the socio-economic study.
      • Maximise environmental water efficiency before recovering more water from irrigation communities.

Contact Details

Level 2 Swann House
22 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Tel: (03) 8621 4200

Fax: (03) 8621 4280

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