Environmental water

Environmental Water in Murray Irrigation

Governments of all persuasions have been undertaking water recovery in the name of the environment since Murray Irrigation was privatised.  While some programs such as The Living Murray initiative and Water for Rivers have concluded, others such as the Basin Plan continue.

The MDBA keeps a tally of water recovery under the Basin Plan, broken down by valley and it is available here.


Water recovery within Murray Irrigation as at 31 July 2016:

Program Volume GL            Percentage original licence volume  
Commonwealth infrastructure                79 7
Commonwealth purchase 197 17
MDBA Living Murray 16 1
NSW Government 30 2
Water for Rivers 11 1
Total 333 28


Environmental water is used at the discretion of the environmental water holders. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder consider long term and annual environmental watering priorities, current allocations and climate conditions to determine where and how to manage their environmental water portfolios.

Murray Irrigation works cooperatively with these organisations to deliver water within our local region to private property wetlands and/or ephemeral creeks and streams. This targeted watering allows environmental water managers to get water to key areas without negative third party impacts.

In 2015/16, Murray Irrigation assisted with the following environmental watering projects:

  • Environmental watering in Yarrein Creek
  • Tuppal Creek
  • Jimaringle-Gwynnes-Cockran creek system
  • Private wetlands watering

Information about the management of environmental water portfolios in the NSW Murray is available via:

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage - Murray and Lower Darling environmental water.

Commonwealth Environmental Water Office Mid-Murray portfolio.

Commonwealth Environmental Water trade and carryover

The Commonwealth Environmental Water office updates the portfolio management statements every quarter and outlines trade intentions and current holdings, including carryover.

Water Holding June 2016

As at 31 July 2016 the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) currently has no plans to trade water allocations or permanent water entitlements, this intention may change in response to requirements identified as part of the 2015-16 planning process.

The portfolio management statements can be accessed on the CEWH website here.