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Environmental Water Allocation

2001 - 2009

The Environmental Water Allocation program had researchers working with water managers and regional communities to build upon the knowledge required for managing our rivers and waterways in a healthy state.


More effective use of water resources is required in Australia to achieve the multiple aims of viable agriculture, industries, communities and environment. Improved outcomes from limited water drives the focus of environmental water allocation as well as other water uses. This requires a depth of biophysical, technical and institutional understanding.

A two-pronged approach is used to achieve this understanding:

Better managing developed systems

In developed systems, where there is pressure to balance environmental and consumptive uses, such as in the River Murray, we need to demonstrate and improve the ecological outcomes produced from environmental allocations.

Understanding undeveloped ecosystems

In relatively undeveloped systems, there are ecosystems which could come under threat from increasingly altered flow regimes.  Currently there is little knowledge of the flow needs of these ecosystems, and thus little capability to design effective environmental allocations. The ecosystems of concern include ephemeral and monsoonal rivers, groundwater dependent ecosystems and estuaries.

More information

Download the Environmental Water Allocation R&D Program brochure

Environmental Water Allocation Forum May 2009

On the 28 and 29 May at the National Museum of Australia a Environmental Water Allocation Forum was jointly sponsored by Land & Water Australia, National Water Commission, Murray–Darling Basin Authority and the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

he purpose of the forum is to bring together scientists, policy makers and watermanagers to

  • review the current state of knowledge about environmental watermanagement and allocation
  • provide a forum for scientists, managers and policymakers from across the country to share their knowledge and discuss future needs anddirections
  • identify information and knowledge gaps, and future research priorities.

The forum included discussions on environmental water allocation in regulated and unregulated systems, policy and other instruments for achieving environmental water allocation,and the linking of environmental water allocation to the broader context of regional water plans.



id: 3067 / created: 06 April, 2009 / last updated: 20 August, 2009