With the National Water Commission disbanded in 2014, the Productivity Commission has been tasked to:
The issues paper can be found here
Submissions are open and can be provided now and after the draft report due in September 2017.
Importantly is the on-going nature of inquires and the 2018 inquiry will be the one to keep an eye out for. I have just revised a paper on this issue and I plan to get a lot of my DECRA work ready for that inquiry.
A couple of interesting news items have been raised in Queensland. First is that Adani will have the right to remove up to 26ML (a ML is a million litres) of groundwater a day by 2029. So in a year this is up to 9,490 ML of water removed (I note with interest the report suggests ground water extractions may be capped at 4,550 ML (a gigalitre is a billion litres). So the 26 ML/day must be an upper figure, that suggests that the asset is unreliable or that groundwater recharge rates are variable.
The other news story examines the proposal to increase Wivenhoe Dam by up to 900,000 ML for a cost of $881 million. This works out at a cost of $979/ML.
If I remove all concerns about the difference in value of surface water and ground water, then the Queensland Government is forgoing a water asset worth between $4.45 to $9.29 million. It will be interesting to see if Adani is allowed to use this water in any way they see fit: for example, sell the asset on?
Last Friday I was part of a team that provided a submission to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources, inquiry into water-use efficiency in Australian agriculture.
The submission goes through the work I have been doing on water-use efficiency and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan since the 'Possible negative feedbacks from 'gold-plating' irrigation infrastructure'.
The key insights in the document are:
The full text of the submission is in the attached file