The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder has sold 6.7 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water allocations for a return of $2.878 million that will be used to improve the environment of the Murray Darling Basin.
The 6.7 gigalitres was bought by Gwydir irrigators wanting to secure water for crops.
The acting Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Mr Mark Taylor, said the sale of Commonwealth environmental water in the Gwydir was great news for both the environment and irrigators.
“Gwydir irrigators have been able to buy much needed water for their farms, the environmental needs of the catchment are still able to be met and the sale proceeds will be used to benefit the environment of the Basin in the future,” he said.
Mr Taylor said the decision to sell was made to manage the Commonwealth’s Water Holdings for maximum environmental benefit across the Basin.
“We’ve considered current and forecast seasonal conditions, and our ability to meet foreseeable priority watering actions across the next three years,” Mr Taylor said.
“Scientific monitoring consistently shows that environmental water delivered to the Gwydir is providing food, habitat and breeding opportunities for many of the region’s unique native fish, waterbirds, plants and wildlife.
“This sale of allocations has reduced the amount of Commonwealth environmental water available in the Gwydir by around six percent in 2017-18, leaving sufficient water to be carried over to support future environmental watering priorities.
“We are confident that we can meet all of our planned environmental targets this year and be well prepared for the future years.
“As water managers, we need to be prepared to actively manage our water holdings to get the best outcome from every drop – whether that is through using the water for environmental flows or by trading it.”
Proceeds from the sale will be used for future environmental watering priorities. This may include water purchase to meet shortfalls in any Murray Darling systems, or investment in environmental activities to improve the management and use of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holdings.
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