Water managers from across the Murray-Darling Basin have come together today to continue their collective and successful efforts to manage salinity at the third Basin Salinity Forum.
Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said the bi-annual forum provided an opportunity for salinity managers, river operators and environmental water managers to meet to share knowledge and experiences about best practice salinity management.
“Salinity was the scourge of the 1980s and it hasn’t gone away – it’s just being well managed because governments remain committed to this significant natural resource management program,” Minister Pitt said.
“The online forum was attended by presenters with specific expertise in water management and representatives with an interest in the health of the Basin and its river communities.
“Another significant milestone was also achieved with Murray-Darling Basin meeting its salinity target for the 12th consecutive year, in 2020-21.
“These salinity targets can only be met because federal, state and territory governments are working together to maintain the health of this great system.
“In the past year, more than 452,000 tonnes of salt were diverted from the river and adjacent landscapes with the use of 14 salt interception schemes. That’s almost half a million tonnes of salt prevented from affecting the quality of our water supply.
“Added to this great news, measured river salinities at Morgan have been the lowest since joint salinity management started.
“History has shown that high concentration of salt in the Basin’s water system can harm the natural environment, crops, livestock and people, which is why we must closely monitor and carefully manage salinity levels in the Basin’s rivers.
“The Murray-Darling Basin produces more than $22 billion worth of food and fibre a year and is home to more than two million people. That means water quality is paramount.”