Submission on the review of the Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources 2012

Managing for healthy ecosystems to avoid events like the recent fish kills.

There has been considerable public attention on the effect of the Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling and Alluvial Water Sources 2012 and in particular the changes made to the plan after public consultation which have proved to have significant effects on the river environment. Many of the rules and practices which were changed remain in the current plan under review by the Natural Resources Commission. In addition, the state of the Darling River continues to decline, most severely seen with the massive fish kill at Menindee in 2018/2019 and the river running out of water for towns and traditional owner communities and affecting a range of ecosystem services. Some of these impacts were exacerbated by the current drought but also compounded by the effects of increased diversions of water, particularly during low flows. This submission highlights six areas requiring significant changes to ensure that the plan meets the objectives of the Water Management Act 2000and also the policy framework of the plan (i.e. vision, objectives) and that of the Murray- Darling Basin Plan. Specifically, there are six key areas in which this plan will not currently meet the vision of the plan or the objectives of the NSW Water Management Act 2000 or theWater Act 2007.

See the entire submission below.