Accountable environmental water usage supported

The Victorian Farmers Federation supports sustainable growth for rural communities along river systems – farming and rural towns, the environment and native flora and fauna, and the economy.

The VFF delivered the state government inquiry into the management, governance and use of environmental water a clear message.

“Carryover is a critical tool for all entitlement holders, however regulated water spills (for flood mitigation) must be calculated as part of a water holder’s environmental water seasonal determination”, said Richard Anderson, VFF Water Council Chair.

“Ultimately, the environment benefits from regulated water spills. These spills often already correspond with seasonal watering plans, and environmental water holders can divert these flows to the areas of their choosing”

Key points raised by the VFF in its submission include:

  • Carryover provides critical flexibility to irrigators and environmental water holders
  • Changes to environmental carryover rules should only occur when the environment is receiving an inequitable benefit at the expense of irrigators
  • There is inequity in entitlement charges in the Goulburn and Murray system
  • Collaboration and preparation are key to managing future blackwater events.

Chaired by Josh Bull, MP, the Victorian Government Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee is seeking community and water user input into blackwater events, water management such as carryover, barriers to water efficiency and the impact of fees and charges. The government will report back by June 2018.

Source: VFF