Australian Government

AUS$6m to help manage Murray-Darling basin water resources

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Source: Australian Government

The Rudd Government is providing AUS$6 million to the eWater Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for a new hydrologicalmodelling toolto help manage the surface water and groundwater of the Murray-Darling Basin. The project will accelerate development of and trial a new computer model, known as RiverManager, to help make water allocation and use over coming decades more sustainable.Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, announced the funding on the banks ofthe Murrumbidgee River at Casuarina Sands in the Australian Capital Territory today.

“The Rudd Government’s $12.9 billion Water for the Future plan has four priorities: tackling climate change, using water wisely, securing our water supplies and supporting healthy rivers,” Senator Wong said.“This new tool will help us deliver on these priorities by making better-informed decisions about how to manage the Murray-Darling Basin as a single entityin the national interest.“RiverManager will clearly be an important tool to assist the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to implement the Basin Plan, including a new limit on water use. It will help the Authority evaluate the costs, benefits and trade-offs required to put the Basin Plan into action.”

It provides the opportunity for water planners, managers and operators to manage the Basin’s surface water and groundwater as a single, integrated system. Senator Wong said RiverManager will help the new Murray-Darling Basin Authority evaluate the benefits and trade-offs of different water management options in the Basin. “Right across the Basin, there will be real and tangible benefits from using the same ‘platform’ and databases.“The funding announced todayis enabling the CRC to fast-track this important work.”RiverManager will be able to do things that current models can’t: for example, modelling groundwater and surface water interactions and the complex processes that existing models can only describe as ‘unaccounted water losses’. The Government’s funding of the RiverManager tool complements the current CSIRO Sustainable Yields project in the Basin, and the $450 million Improving Water Information program administered by the Bureau of Meteorology.

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