Development of business cases for constraint measure projects under the sustainable diversion limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. The business cases will consider options to address constraints to environmental watering delivery in the Gwydir River system, the Murrumbidgee River and in the River Murray; the Hume to Yarrawonga section and the section below Yarrawonga to the Wakool Junction.
A. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan 2012, agreed by the Australian Parliament in November 2012, specifies the sustainable level of diversions and extractions from surface and ground water resources to ensure the ongoing health and resilience of
the environment. The Basin Plan requires that diversions and extractions are to be reduced to sustainable levels by 2019.
B. In February 2013 the Australian Parliament made a special appropriation of $1.77 billion to the Water for the Environment Special Account established under section 86AB(1) of the Water Act 2007 (Cth) for a ten-year period from the 2014-15
financial year for:
(a) efficiency measure projects to deliver 450 gigalitres (billion litres) of additional environmental water ($1.5 billion currently allocated); and
(b) easing or removing constraints on the ability to deliver environmental water to the environmental assets of the Murray-Darling Basin ($200 million currently allocated), including up to $5 million for Basin states to develop business
cases for prospective constraints measure projects.
C. The Funds contemplated under this Agreement are to be debited from the Water for the Environment Special Account for the purpose of improving or modifying any infrastructure (including bridges and roads) that constrains the delivery of
environmental water to the environmental assets of the Murray-Darling Basin in order to ease or remove those constraints, as contemplated by section 86AD of the Water Act 2007 (Cth).
D. This Agreement records the terms and conditions on which financial assistance is granted by the Commonwealth to Basin States as contemplated by section 86AF of the Water Act 2007 (Cth).