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Transitional water resource plans

Transitional water resource plans have been in place while states prepare Basin Plan consistent water resource plans (WRPs) for accreditation. These plans recognised existing state water plans under the Water Act 2007, and ensured continuity in state management arrangements while water resource plans are being developed.

State WRPs will now outline how the Murray–Darling Basin’s water resources will be managed consistently with the Basin Plan at a local scale. Transitional arrangements for current state water plans were established to cover the period between the Basin Plan being made (in 2012) and when state WRPs will be accredited. These transitional and interim plans are state water planning documents that have been recognised under the Commonwealth’s Water Act 2007.

Water resource plans and bilateral agreements

Transitional and interim plans have now expired, however, all Basin state and territory governments have agreed to bring key Basin Plan commitments into effect from 1 July 2019 irrespective of when WRPs are accredited.

The MDBA has established bilateral agreements with all Basin state and territory governments to implement key elements of the Basin Plan, consistent with the request of the Murray–Darling Basin Ministerial Council water ministers in December 2018.

The agreements ensure key elements of the Basin Plan are in place from 1 July 2019, where WRPs are not accredited by that date. This commitments includes ensuring the sustainable diversion limits (SDLs), compliance with SDLs and measures to protect and better manage environmental water are in place from 1 July 2019.

The MDBA will continue to report regularly on the progress of WRP development and accreditation, and publish all WRPs received for assessment to provide transparency.

Updated: 08 Dec 2020